Boeing AH-64M "Super Apache" Attack Helicopter:

While Boeing was one of the two companies deeply involved in the production of the RAH-66 Comanche design, the design was not able to be exported, at least initially. This was due to the stealth materials used in the design although later exports to allies were authorized. Still, even with exports were finally authorized, it was only to close allies. Upgraded version of AH-1 Cobra, dating back all the way to the Vietnam War for the original design, were exported by Bell helicopters.

Boeing still wanted a share of the attack helicopter export market. For this reason, an upgraded version of the AH-64 Apache was developed as a private venture in the Twenty-Thirties. The AH-64E was developed as a result and the design took advantage of high strength composites and alloys for a much tougher helicopter design. It mounted an upgraded version of the T-700 engine which gave slightly higher top speed. The same engine was mounted in upgraded versions of the AH-1 design. While not a huge success, some of these upgraded AH-64 were exported, enough to keep production lines open.

The introduction of super strong alloys and composites was the revolution but a second engineering revolution occurred only around a decade later. This was in small fusion power plants suitable for mounting in various small vehicles. The design of the AH-64E was modified again, this time replacing the original conventional with a fusion plant. This new fusion powered version of the Apache was designated the AH-64M. It was a much greater success than the AH-64E as far as exports.

While the AH-64 had been mostly retired in the first world military forces of the world, many second and third world nations continued to operate these helicopter up until the coming of the Rifts. With the high strength composites and alloys being virtually immune to corrosion as well as vastly reducing maintenance, even older helicopters were in surprisingly good condition. As such, it does not come of much of a surprise that quite a number of those that actually survived the coming of the Rifts remain operations. Some are operated by small mercenaries while others are operated by mercenary companies. The conventional models are much rarer than fusion powered models never having been produced in the same numbers and with many having been used as sources for parts to maintain the newer fusion powered models.

Initial models of the AH-64M were armed with the 30 mm Hughes M230 Chain Gun carried on the AH-64A/D with a total of twelve hundred rounds of ammunition. Special ramjet ammunition was developed for the 30 mm mount which enabled it to inflict massive damage to the strongest armors. This was later replaced by a pair of USA-M38 heavy rail guns. Each has two thousand rounds for four thousand total. The chin mount in both cases is able to engage air targets as well as ground targets with the ability to rotate to either side up to one hundred degrees, downward sixty degrees, and upward up to eleven degrees.

The attack helicopter is designed to be able to carry missiles and rockets on stub wings in addition to the gun mount. There is an outer hard point which can mount one medium range or two short range missiles. Under each stub wing there are two hard points. Each can mount two medium range missiles, four short range missiles, or a mini-missile pod with sixteen mini-missiles. These are basically identical to the AH-64D although modified for a greater flexibility in payload carried. In addition to upgrading the gun mount, later versions used stronger alloys and composites which allow them to withstand greater damage in combat.

Compared to the later thrust based VTOL aircraft, the AH-64M is considered on the slow side with a top speed of 180 knots and a cruise speed of 165 knots. It is also a bit slower than the competing AH-1SV produced by Bell Helicopters. The FTS-680 Fusion Turbo Shafts is the same power plan as is mounted in the Bell AH-1SV Viper. The fusion plant does give virtually unlimited range but does have problems with overheating if operated over around ten hours without giving the engines a chance to properly cool down.

Model Type:AH-64MOriginal Model
AH-64M+Upgraded Model
Vehicle Type: Attack Helicopter
Crew: Two (Pilot and Co-Pilot / Gunner)

M.D.C. By Location:Original Model:Upgraded Model:
M230 30 mm Chain Gun (Under Cockpit):50N.A.
Twin USA-M38 Rail Gun (Under Cockpit):N.A.80
Missile Racks Stub Wings (2):50 each50 each
[1] Main Rotor (Four Blade):48 (12 per blade)48 (12 per blade)
[1] Tail:4050
Landing Gear (3):10 each10 each
Reinforced Cockpit:90110
[2] Main Body:180220

[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 207.1 mph (180 knots / 333.4 kph) with a ceiling of 21,000 feet (6,400 meters.) Cruise speed is 189.9 mph (165 knots / 305.6 kph.) The helicopter has great maneuverability and vertical take off and landing capabilities.
Range: Fusion power system gives virtually unlimited range but engines must cool down after operating above 115.2 mph (100 knots / 185 kph) for 10 hours.

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: 14,500 pounds (6577.1 kg) empty and 19,800 pounds (8981.1 kg) fully loaded
Power System: Nuclear Fusion, FTS-680 Fusion Turbo Shafts, Should have an average life-span of 10 years.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment) in cockpit, does not include hard points.
Black Market Cost: 12.5 to 18 million credits. All prices can be as much as double normal prices under some conditions.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) Gun Mount: The cannon is mounted under the nose of the helicopter. The cannon mount can move vertically and horizontally. Gun can rotate one hundred degrees to either side, eleven degrees up, and sixty degrees downwards. It can also be fixed forward on the helicopter. Gun is generally controlled by the co-pilot but can also be controlled by the pilot. Weapon mounts can be used against both ground targets and against aircraft. Early models carried the 30-mm cannon but was replaced by the rail gun in most models.
    1. Hughes M230 30 mm Chain Gun: This is the original Pre-Rifts 30 mm cannon mounted in the front of the helicopter. The standard ammo has been replaced by 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: 1,200 rounds (60 bursts) - One trained crew can change out ammunition in about fifteen minutes (100 rounds per minute.).
    2. USA-M38 Heavy Rail Gun: A pair of heavy rail gun is mounted in the nose mounted turret replacing the 30-mm cannon in most models. Rail gun has equal range but greater damage than original cannon as well as having a much greater payload. As well, the weapon is more powerful than most rail guns carried by power armors.
      Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,828 meters)
      Mega-Damage: Single Cannon: 2D4x10 M.D.C. per burst of 20. Single shot inflicts 3D6 M.D.C. Both Cannons: 4D4x10 M.D.C. per burst of 20 for each cannon (40 rounds total.) Single shot got both (two rounds total) inflicts 6D6 M.D.C.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to number of combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or co-pilot (usually 4-6).
      Payload: 4,000 rounds total, 2,000 rounds (200 bursts) each
  2. Two (2) Missile Hard Points: The A-64M Super 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.
    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-64M Super Apache has a total of two hard points under each stub wing. The helicopter can carry either two medium range missiles, four short range missiles, or one mini missile pod on each of these hard point.
    1. Short or Medium Range Missiles: The only restriction is that a hard point must carry all the same type of missile and missile. One medium range missile may be substituted for two short range missiles.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies by short or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega Damage: Varies by short or medium 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 same range missiles.
      Payload: four (4) short range missiles or two (2) medium range missiles per hard point (for a maximum of 24 short range or 12 medium 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 Dispenser: Located on the sides of the helicopter are two chaff dispensers. When tailed by a missile, a cloud of chaff and other obtrusive particles can be released to confuse or detonate the enemy's attack. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
    Effect: 01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missile 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: Eight (8)

Special Equipment:
The AH-64M Super Apache has all the standard features of a standard aircraft (same as standard robot minus loudspeaker and microphone) plus these special features listed:

Combat Bonuses:

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2012, Kitsune. All rights reserved.