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THE GUARDIAN ARRIVES

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AH-64E Isn’t Your Father’s Apache
By Harold Hutchison

The AH-64 Apache was arguably on the cutting edge of helicopter technology when it fired the opening shots of Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Today, a new version has again taken the chopper to the cutting edge.

The AH-64E Guardian is faster than the Longbow – with a top speed of 189 miles per hour. Its more powerful engines will allow it to carry a bigger combat load at high altitudes like the mountains of Afghanistan. Perhaps what it most unique is that its crew won’t just be controlling the chopper.

"AH-64E pilots now have the option to control nearby Unmanned Aerial Vehicles," said Chief Warrant Officer 3, Richard Crabtree, a maintenance test pilot with the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment. "They can view UAV camera feeds, adjust their flight path and launch missiles at targets spotted by the UAV."

The battalion will have 24 of these choppers by the end of April.