PJFlysFast From United States of America, joined May 2006, 463 posts, RR: 1 Posted (8 years 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 15132 times:
Whenever I watch the news about the Iraq war I always see the Kiowa helicopter and never the Apache. How come there seems to be more Kiowa helicopters doing support missions than Apaches? I would think that there would be more Apaches doing that type of roll rather then a Kiowa after all those are attack helicopters.
UH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 14968 times:
Quoting PJFlysFast (Thread starter): Whenever I watch the news about the Iraq war I always see the Kiowa helicopter and never the Apache. How come there seems to be more Kiowa helicopters doing support missions than Apaches? I would think that there would be more Apaches doing that type of roll rather then a Kiowa after all those are attack helicopters.
They have the best serviceability rate of any Army helicopter... with far fewer parts than any other helicopter, they naturally need less care and attention.
Also, because of their size and lack of stand-off fighting ability, they need to get close and dirty when engaging targets. Unlike the Apache, they cannot utilize distance to mitigate the risks of being shot down. So since they're often flying low and close, they're far easier for camera crews to catch.
Quoting DL021 (Reply 1): Kiowas are more plentiful in theatre. They are good birds and can perform the escort role fairly effectively, especially where the greater firepower of the Apache is not needed.
A Kiowa Warrior with a .50 and a rocket launcher is a very effective weapon for most missions there.
I like the KW, and think the guys do a fantastic job with what they have.
...But lets face it, that helicopter was designed for scouting. It was never intended to be a close air support platform. And experience in Iraq shows that some of the pilots simply don't understand that. Often we would get into a situation where the KWs would engage in a knife fight with insurgents on the ground, and get themselves into hot water. So instead of relieving the situation on the ground, they became yet another soldier in distress.
They cannot carry full fuel and full ammo at the same time in Iraq. They are on scene for a short period of times, and some of the pilots were way too eager to pick a fight. They only have a few bursts of .50 and a handful of rockets. Both of which require the helicopter to pop up and dive at the target - exposing themselves to enemy ground fire. Yet these KW guys would storm in there like they were invincible. And as one flew the bird, another is often firing their M4 out the door. Granted, I've done this as well... but because I was FORCED to resort to using my weapon. We never went looking for people to fire at. And some of the KWs do, and they suffer high shoot down rates because of it. Very stupid.
If I was a ground commander, and I needed an airborne asset to develop the battle from the air - the KW is what I want. If I was a ground commander, and I needed an airborne asset to scout ahead, recon enemy locations, and target them for AH-64s, the KW is what I want.
But if I am a ground commander, and I want firepower on the enemy - the Longbow is my buddy. They train for that shit. THEY LIVE IT. As much as I rag on them, they are some pretty smart guys who know a lot about their weapon systems, and how to effectively use them in battle. They're also far more survivable in a knife fight with Haji on the ground.
PJFlysFast From United States of America, joined May 2006, 463 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 14918 times:
Is the Hellfire guide able like a TOW? Another question which I bet I know the answer to, are any UH60s outfitted with weapons? I know that they have a gunner and a crew chief with Gatling guns but I was just wondering if maybe they could be outfitted with weapons systems to do basic close air support.
Actually, the Hellfire has a superior guidance system to the TOW. While the TOW has a basic wire system akin to that of some toy cars, the Hellfire is semi-active laser guided. (The troops on the ground points at the target with a laser beam pointer, and the Hellfire is air-launched towards the combat zone.)
Transport helicopters as combat aircraft is not such a good idea, which was the reason for the (Huey) Cobra. Bell took the turbines, rotors, and associated parts of a Huey (UH-1) and fitted with a slender airframe. It became faster, harder to hit, and the crew got better visibility. Later the South Africans did the same trick with the dynamic parts of the Westland/Aerospatiale Puma and came up with the Rooivalk. And of course the Mi-8 (Hip) and the Mi-24 (Hind) is related in a similar fashion. Since the US Army already has the Apache, few people see the need for an attack version of the UH-60. Arming them for self-escorted missions on the other hand, is another story.
The Soviets used Mi-8/17 in a similar fashion to what You suggests in Afghanistan, but they had to switch to using Hinds and Su-25 Frogfoot as soon as the Mujaheddin acquired Stingers.
How can anyone not fly, when we live at a time when we can fly?
Well the pilot cannot guide the hellfire, in the same sense that he can guide a TOW.
However, as the missile is homing in on the laser, if the laser was to move, the missile would adjust it's course as necessary. (Of course within a certain degree). This also gives the missile the ability to home in on a moving target, such as a tank.
The aircraft can "lase" the target, fire the missile and continue lasing until impact. So in a way, it's like a TOW but without the guide wire. The aircraft still needs to maintain constant contact with the laser on the target, until impact.
Or, an aircraft can launch the missile, get the hell out of there, and the missile will home-in on a laser provided by someone else (ground troops, another helicopter, aircraft, etc...) So long as both the aircraft and the person providing the laser are using the same freq - then the missile will track.
Or, the aircraft can identify a target, launch the missile, hide behind terrain for protection, and unmask just time to lock onto the target again, lase it, and the missile will then home in.
The missile can be outfitted with different warheads to fit the specific needs of the mission, the missile can approach the target from various vertical angles, and can even perform an off bore target aquisition.
It's a fantastic weapon.
Quoting PJFlysFast (Reply 5): Another question which I bet I know the answer to, are any UH60s outfitted with weapons? I know that they have a gunner and a crew chief with Gatling guns but I was just wondering if maybe they could be outfitted with weapons systems to do basic close air support.
lol... we don't have Gatling guns. We will typically fly with two M240B machine guns mounted to both crew chief windows. The crew chief/door gunner will employ this weapon, at the instruction of the pilots or in extreme emergency.
USAF Pave Hawks may use the M60/240, or they can use the GAU-2B minigun. This weapon is amazing, however, aside from it's weight, it is electrically operated. Making it useless to a downed crew in the event of a crash.
One US Army unit, the 160th SOAR, are outfitted with AH-60DAPs (direct action penetrators). It's an armed Black Hawk... they can carry rockets, hellfires, miniguns and even mount .50cal guns in the cargo doors. They can put A LOT of lead on the enemy!
In Mosul, Iraq outside of the FOB some insurgents were using a small island as a base of operations to mortar the FOB. So one night two 160th DAPs went up and took out that island. Famous video of it was released.
LongbowPilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 577 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 14704 times:
Quoting PJFlysFast (Reply 9): What does it take to get to fly one of those UH60FtRucker! How did 160th SOAR get to fly those and nobody else did?
Because the 160 is Spec Ops, and they have a better check book then the Regular Army, additionally they have to provide their own aerial support, because they do not employ Attack Assets such as the Apache, they have the Little Bird which has the load carrying ability of the KW if not less, so the came up with the DAP config and use that.
-UH60 thanks for the thorough rounded educated responses here. I'm glad you checked your bias and explained it without leaning one way or the other, but you do know you are a lift punk still
I was not once picked up by an Apache for a mission exfil.......and one of them was more of a running and screaming "Wait for me!!!" whereas I have more than once thanked all the Gods anywhere for the foresight of Igor SIkorsky and those that ran that company after him.....Bell once, too. Vertol once....... but never Hughes/McDD/Boeing Apache....
The little birds carry their weight, so to speak, and get some rather interesting jobs done. More like they can punch above their weight when used properly.
Not to say APache isn't a very useful and cool helo..they're very cool helicopters and a warrant officer paid back his gambling debt once with a quick ride. THat was cool. I certainly would not want to be a vehicular target in the monocle of the gunner.....
DL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11448 posts, RR: 74
Reply 14, posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 14652 times:
Quoting PJFlysFast (Reply 13): I always see the Apache's in Afghanistan but not the KW's. I assume its because of the altitude and maybe even the range they can fly.
They are serving there, but they do have more difficulty and as they are single engined the heat and altitude in the mountains during summer can make it difficult for them to get anywhere with a useful load.
I'd like to hear from some of their pilots about the verdict on their suitability for that theatre.
Jwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 17
Reply 15, posted (8 years 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 14637 times:
another reason might well be that the Apache is more survivable in a combat environment like that in Afghanistan where the opponent has heavier weapons which could bring down a Kiowa, weapons the terrorists in Iraq are lacking.
It's also more open country where operations in Iraq tend to be urban, favouring lighter, smaller aircraft than Apache, and having less need for the heavy weapons Apache carries.