Golden Age Weaponsmiths AH-64D Apache / Longbow:

Originally developed by Hughes Helicopter with the first prototype flowing in Nineteen Seventy Five for the United States Army, the AH-64 Apache entered service in Nineteen Eighty Seven after Hughes Helicopters was purchased by McDonnell Douglas. Later, Boeing purchased McDonnell Douglas and continued production of the AH-64. Over one thousand Apaches were produced with, in addition to the United States Army, the AH-64 Apache served in around a dozen other nations including the United Kingdom, Greece, Japan, the Netherlands, Israel, and Singapore. It served in multiple conflicts including Panama, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq in United States Army service and in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip by Israel.

As with most military hardware, these helicopters were rendered obsolete with the introduction of super strong alloys and composites. The Apache at this point was already considered in need of replacement. The remaining Apache helicopters were replaced at this point, replaced by a combination of the RAH-66 Comanche helicopter, which had been canceled originally, redesigned using high strength composites and a bit later on thrust based VTOL craft. Instead of scrapping the AH-64, the Apache was put into careful storage in National Guard armories for potential reactivation. Never reactivated, these were virtually forgetting about during the decades between being retired and the coming of the Rifts.

Eventually some of these helicopters were found by adventurers and eventually these helicopters found their way into the hands of Golden Age Weaponsmiths. One advantage that helicopters have over most fighters is that they do not require a full sized runway to operate from. Interesting that while slower and shorter ranged than the Iron Heart Armament “Iron Eagle,” it can actually carry a larger payload. Refitted AH-64 Apache are also far cheaper, actually in many cases cheaper than a Coalition Sky Cycle. As such, it is quite popular. Independent governments and mercenary companies have purchased these helicopters. Unlike many fighters, there has been no effort made to market these helicopters to the Coalition. Still, it has been so popular that the company decided that it would worth their effort to seek out additional Apache helicopters and sent teams out to where there were once depots for these helicopters. There is rumor of potential new construction of these helicopters by Golden Age Weaponsmiths. It is also possible that they might decide to copy the AH-1Z Viper design instead.

As with other aircraft, these helicopters needed to be thoroughly reconditioned. Even though protected in most cases, the years were not easy on them. In most cases, the engines need replacement of multiple systems and the electronics need extensive rebuilding as well. Golden Age Weaponsmiths are experts at refitting old engines. Before these helicopters were retired, they were largely already running on bio-fuels. With electronics, in some cases the whole electronic system has to be replaced by modern systems. Of civilian design, these systems are often far smaller than those they replace. This includes the APG-78 Long Bow radar system which is replaced by a standard robot system.

As with most aircraft, the AH-64 Apache are refitted with high strength composites and alloys. In most cases, the helicopter was stripped down to the frame and the new materials completely replace the original armor materials. As well, the structure of the helicopter is strengthened in various areas. While far better able to survive modern combat, the refitted Apaches are far less tough than a modern helicopter design such as the Iron Eagle. A new construction AH-64 Apache would likely be far tougher.

Unfortunately for compatibility, the M230 Chain Gun on the AH-64 Apache does not use the same 30 mm ammunition as the A-10 Thunderbolt, the ammunition for the GAU-8 Avenger being longer, but Wellington Industries was able to adapt the larger ramjet ammunition design for the helicopter's gun. Using ramjet ammunition, the 30 mm chain gun is extremely effective. It also carries up to 1,200 rounds which can be replaced within about fifteen minutes by a single crew member. Additional fuel can be carried in place of ammunition requiring about thirty minutes to change out. Unlike the GAU-8 Avenger, the M230 Chain Gun can rotate from side to side and up and down.

As well an new ammunition for the chain gun, the helicopter's hard points are modified to carry standard missile types and mini-missile pods replace rocket pods. It has two hard points under each stub wing and one on each outer tip of the stub wings. Originally the hard points were designed to carry Hydra FFAR Rockets, Hellfire anti-tank missiles, and Stinger and Sidewinder air to air missiles. Fuel tanks can also be carried on these hard points.

Model Number: AH-64D+
Vehicle Type: Attack Helicopter
Crew: Two (Pilot and Co-Pilot / Gunner)

M.D.C. by Location:

Forward Hughes M230 30 mm Chain Gun (Under Cockpit):30
Missile Racks Stub Wings (2):30 each
[1] Main Rotor (Four Blade):32 (8 per blade)
[1] Tail:40
Landing Gear (3):3 each
Reinforced Cockpit:60
[2] Main Body:120

[1] Destroying the rear rotor or one of the main blades will cause the helicopter to fly at half speed, wobble and is -6 to parry, -3 to strike, and -40% on piloting skill/maneuvers. Smart pilots will land as soon as possible. Destroying the main top rotor will knock the helicopter out of the sky! Roll under the piloting skill -30% for a successful crash landing (due to the reinforced nature of the AH-64 Apache, crew takes only 1/2 damage from an impact.
[2] Destroying the main body knocks the helicopter out of the sky and renders it completely useless.

Driving on Ground (Taxiing): Only possible for take offs and landings as well as for parking and storage. Speed is 40 mph (64 kph) when traveling and not on take off or landing. Helicopter can land and take off from primitive air fields.
Flying: Hover to 184.1 mph (160 knots / 296.3 kph) with a ceiling of 21,000 feet (6,400 meters.) Cruise speed is 165 mph (143 knots / 265 kph.) The helicopter has great maneuverability and vertical take off and landing capabilities.
Range: Has a combat range of 300 miles (260 nautical miles / 483 kilometers) with ordnance load. Can fly for approximately three and a half hours. The helicopter has approximately 20% better range when the Apache is carrying no ordnance. Can also carry up to four 870 liter fuel tanks on hard points in place of ordnance. Each fuel tank extended range by 225 miles (195.5 nautical miles / 362 kilometers) each. Can also carry fuel tanks in the place of 30 mm ammunition. A 492 liter tank can be fitted (60 rounds of 30 mm can be carried) which extends range by 130 miles (112.9 nautical miles / 209.2 kilometers) or a 378 liter tank can be fitted (300 round of 30 mm can be carried) which extends range by 100 miles (86.9 nautical miles / 160.9 kilometers)
The helicopter cannot be refueled in the air.

Statistical Data:
Height: 16 feet 10 inches (5.12 meters)
Rotor Width: 48 feet (14.63 meters)
Length: 48 feet 2 inches (16.68 meters)
Weight: 10,760 pounds (4,881 kg) empty and 21,000 pounds (9,525 kg) fully loaded
Power System: Conventional, Two 1,500 kW (2,000 shp) General Electric T700-GE-701D turboshafts,uses aviation fuel.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment) in cockpit, does not include hard points.
Black Market Cost: 850,000 credits (Can sometimes sell for double that price)

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) 30 mm Hughes M230 Chain Gun: This is the original Pre-Rifts 30 mm cannon mounted in the front of the helicopter. It is mounted under the cockpit of the helicopter and is controlled by the copilot. Gun can rotate one hundred degrees to either side, eleven degrees up, and sixty degrees downwards. They have replaced the standard ammo with Wellington Industries mega damage, armor piercing ramjet ammunition which allows the aircraft to hold it own and surpass many other Rifts aircraft and helicopters in firepower. The ammunition can be replaced by additional fuel. These fuel tanks take thirty minutes to change out.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,830 meters).
    Mega Damage: 2D6x10 for a burst of 20 round, 3D6 for each round.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the co-pilot / gunner (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 60 (3 burst), 300 (15 bursts), or 1,200 rounds (60 bursts) depending on configuration - One trained crew can change out ammunition in about fifteen minutes (100 rounds per minute.)
  2. Two (2) Missile Hard Points: The AH-64 Apache has two hard points on the tips of the stub wings. The hard points can only carry missiles, not bombs. Each hard point can carry either one medium range missile of two short range missiles. These hard points were originally designed to carry AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-92 Stinger missiles.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, Medium or Short range missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies with missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) missiles.
    Payload: One (1) medium range missile or two (2) short range missiles per hard point. Maximum total of two (2) medium range missiles or four (4) short range missiles
  3. Four (4) Ordnance Hard Points: The A-64 Apache has a total of two hard points under each stub wing. The helicopter can carry either four short range missiles or one mini missile pod on each of these hard point. Originally designed to carry Hellfire anti-tank missiles and Hydra FFAR rocket pods.
    1. Short Range Missiles: The Apache cannot carry medium or long range missiles on theses hard points.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies by short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega Damage: Varies by short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Missiles can be fired one at a time per hard point. Multiple hard points can be linked as one attack but must all be short range missiles.
      Payload: Four (4) short range missiles per hard point (for a maximum of 16 short range missiles)
    2. Mini-Missile Pod: Large capacity mini-missile pod. These pods are not carried on the body of the aircraft but are only carried on the wings. The aircraft normally carries missile pods for ground strafing, anti-troop, and anti-emplacement attacks. Normal missile used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation mini-missiles.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega Damage: Varies with mini-missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Each pod can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16 - all.) and can be linked with other mini missile pods for greater number of missiles (Counts as one attack no matter how many missiles in volley.)
      Payload: Each pod carries sixteen (16) mini-missiles.
  4. One (1) Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispenser: Use the same effects as the TRIAX model. However, each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not operate effectively against Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
      01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.
      51-75 Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
      76-00 No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
    Also note that the chaff cloud will also blind flying monsters that fly through cloud. They will suffer the following penalties: reduce melee attacks/actions, combat bonuses, and speed by half. Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.
    Payload: 20 chaff, 40 flares. Each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares.

Special Equipment:
The equipment of the Apache has been upgraded but many of the original systems are still on the helicopter. Consider the helicopter to carry all standard equipment that robot vehicles carry (not including loudspeaker and microphone) plus the following extra systems:

Combat Bonuses:

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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