Apache Longbow radar finds export orders

Morocco, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India are to receive AN/APG-78 Longbow Fire Control Radar (FCR) systems for their Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters under four contracts worth $164.6m announced in September. 

When coupled with the Apache’s sensor systems, the Longbow gives aircrews the capability to scan large areas at long ranges to identify threats and targets. The Longbow radars in the four countries should all be operational by December 31, 2022. Boeing claims the Longbow also allows for a low probability of detection when scanning. If a target is identified, the data can be sent to a missile launch system. If further identification and classification is needed the Apache’s modernized target acquisition designation sight system could identify the target.

AH-64D [South Carolina National Guard/Sgt Roberto Di Giovine] #1
A South Carolina Army National Guard-operated Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter flexes its muscles in front of a wall of fire at an air show in Eastover, South Carolina, in October 2018. South Carolina Army National Guard/Sgt Roberto Di Giovine

The Longbow systems are provided by the Longbow Limited Liability Company (LBL). Its president, Jim Messina, said: “The LBL team is excited to bring Morocco, the Netherlands and India into the Longbow FCR user community, and to update the UAE with new capabilities.”

The new additions expand the Longbow customer base to 16 foreign militaries and 14 nations. The UAE is updating its Apache fleet from the AH-64D to the AH-64E. LBL is now providing increased FCR capabilities with the Apache AH-64E Version 6 helicopter. The Version 6 FCR software enhancements provide new operational modes and capabilities. They include maritime, single-target track, and 360° surveillance mode, and extended detection range against land, air and sea targets.