The US Army has performed an operation test of an upgraded AH-64E Apache helicopter at West Fort Hood, Texas, to test its enhanced capabilities.

During the test, the AH-64E Version 6 (AH-64Ev6) Apache helicopter flew alongside an unmanned aerial system and combat ground forces to test the upgraded version’s improved target acquisition and joint interoperability.

Tests provided an opportunity for the participating Apache pilots to witness the modernised helicopter’s increased lethality and survivability on the battlefield.

US Army Operational Test Command (OTC) Aviation Test Directorate (AVTD) supervisor military test plans analyst Larry Hood said: “The operational test collected data on the ability of an AH-64E Version 6-equipped unit to conduct attack, reconnaissance, and security missions in land and maritime environments.”

US Army 1st Air Cavalry pilot first lieutenant Clayton Jaksha stated that the upgrades support both aircrew and the ground force commander.

The upgraded version features modernised day side assembly (MDSA) that extends standoff and offers protection against a complex and hybrid threat.

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Other enhancements include an improved Cognitive Decision Aid System, software upgrades, and an upgraded mission processor. The improvements help reduce downtime for maintenance and allow aviators to operate in a wide battlefield area for an extended time.

AVTD director colonel Jason Blevins said: “Some of the critical capabilities are improvements in our interoperability with unmanned aircraft systems, joint interoperability and the effects that bring in our ability to conduct multi-domain operations as opposed to unified land operations.”

As part of testing, the Apache operated in realistic scenarios involving phased attack, deliberate attack, and maritime attack.

Scenarios were designed to test the ability of AH-64Ev6 to integrate all the upgrades in attack, reconnaissance, and security missions.