Close-up of a Longbow.

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The difference between the AH-64A (Apache) and AH-64D (longbow Apache) is mainly the longbow Radome on top of the rotors that functions as a fire control radar. It allows the Apache to target multiple targets simultaneously, prioritize them accordingly, and fire radar guided hellfire missiles at the targets. What’s cool is the helicopter can hang behind cover while the longbow searches for targets.

The D variant of the Apache also has a ‘glass’ cockpit meaning it is modernized with multifunction displays (mfd) that take the place of most of the gauges and switches that the A variant utilized.

Newer D variants also have a pretty impressive suite of counter measures and early warning receivers that the older models lacked.

Most of the Apaches you will see the US Army using are D models with the Longbow radar detached since they are no longer regularly engaging armored vehicles. This is mainly just a weight-saving measure.

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