Boeing Unveils Next-Gen Apache Concept Featuring Drones, Laser

Boeing has unveiled a Modernized Apache concept featuring two additional hardpoints under its stub wings to accommodate air-launched effects (ALE) and directed-energy weapons.

The multi-purpose ALEs could be employed to jam enemy radar signals, increasing the aircraft’s survivability in contested air spaces. It could also be used for loitering munitions to attack ground formations or function as a decoy to penetrate enemy air defenses.

The new Apache is an evolution of the combat-proven AH-64E v6 platform currently operating around the world, aiming to fulfill the US Army’s evolving attack and reconnaissance requirements while complementing the Future Vertical Lift family of air platforms.

Six Major Upgrades

The aircraft design features six major upgrades and additions, including advanced sensors and sensor fusion, and powertrain improvements for “enhanced power, range, efficiency, and speed.” 

Additionally, it includes an advanced mission system “to reduce pilot cognitive strain and workload efficiency” and a Modular Open Systems Approach, enabling faster integration of additional capabilities and interoperability with other systems.

The developers intend to develop an affordable platform focusing on future Multi-Domain Operations, “capable of seamlessly and effectively meeting the Army’s evolving attack and reconnaissance requirements — including increased agility, interoperability, lethality, survivability and reach,” Boeing wrote in a press statement.

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