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Max Q
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Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:39 pm

Years ago the US army retired the Cobra attack helicopter and replaced it with the AH64 Apache, I’m no helicopter expert but from everything I’ve read it’s an extremely capable, very survivable and quite a fearsome aircraft, although the original Cobra was very effective the Apache seems to be a quantum step up in that role


Marine aviation emphasizes close air support so why did they choose to retain, then upgrade to the ‘Super Cobra’ and it’s much older legacy design instead of purchasing the AH 64, perhaps the ultimate helicopter for that purpose ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:57 pm

Isn't the USMC in the habit of keeping their a/c quite long?
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cjg225
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:42 pm

Undoubtedly this'll get moved to Military shortly...

As Dutchy points out, the USMC keeps their equipment for a long time. They are the smallest and, in many ways, least-well-funded of the US armed services. They have to make do with hand-me-downs and older equipment a lot. It keeps things simpler for them to keep the AH-1 variants than adopt a totally new and totally different airframe like the AH-64.
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johns624
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:15 am

Another reason is that the Cobra only has two blades. The AH64 would have had to be redesigned with folding rotors.
 
Newark727
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 2:46 am

I got the impression that navalizing the AH-64 was totally possible, they just had other funding priorities at the time.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:12 am

johns624 wrote:
Another reason is that the Cobra only has two blades. The AH64 would have had to be redesigned with folding rotors.


Haven't the British already solved that problem? They use their Apaches on their carrier, don't they?
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
GDB
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:02 am

Dutchy wrote:
johns624 wrote:
Another reason is that the Cobra only has two blades. The AH64 would have had to be redesigned with folding rotors.


Haven't the British already solved that problem? They use their Apaches on their carrier, don't they?


They were used from HMS Ocean against Libya in 2011 after modifications.
Will be a part of the QE carriers when in the helicopter assault role.

With the USMC, going back to the Vietnam era, they preferred a twin engine chopper, hence the Sea Cobra line, continually updated since then. Same with the UH-1 versions for them too.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 10:54 am

johns624 wrote:
Another reason is that the Cobra only has two blades. The AH64 would have had to be redesigned with folding rotors.


Err, the AH-1Z and UH-1Y variants in service with the USMC today feature 4-bladed rotors.


Newark727 wrote:
I got the impression that navalizing the AH-64 was totally possible, they just had other funding priorities at the time.


Well not really. They spent a fortune developing the H-1 upgrade program. Buying a navalised AH-64 and their own version of the SH-60 would have been cheaper.
 
Sokes
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:11 am

Deleted as nonsense.
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texl1649
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:04 pm

I believe the AH-1Z is still in production. They’ve as stated spent a fortune upgrading it substantially over the years.

https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2019/0 ... 548162673/
 
ThePointblank
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:39 pm

Dutchy wrote:
johns624 wrote:
Another reason is that the Cobra only has two blades. The AH64 would have had to be redesigned with folding rotors.


Haven't the British already solved that problem? They use their Apaches on their carrier, don't they?

The AH-1Z has an automatic blade folding kit, and is fully marinized for operations over the ocean. Basically, the AH-1Z was designed and built from the ground up as a naval helicopter.
 
GDB
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:18 pm

WAH-64D ops from HMS Ocean in 2011;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3r1g6UkFOc

And some recognition of it and the force in general (also engaged in Afghanistan at the time);

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EZ3_uwOyf8
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:35 pm

Someone, somewhere, decided that, if the Marines were going to keep both the Cobra and the UH-1, they needed to come up with a way to make it more cost effective in replacement parts and man hours to support them, so they launched a program back in the 90s to increase their comonality. The AH-1Z and UH-1Y share a common tailboom, engines, rotor system, drivetrain, avionics architecture, software, controls and displays for over 84% identical components. (taken from Wikipedia) This makes their logistics chain much more manageable and increases their ability to keep both frames airworthy.
 
Max Q
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:45 pm

GDB wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
johns624 wrote:
Another reason is that the Cobra only has two blades. The AH64 would have had to be redesigned with folding rotors.


Haven't the British already solved that problem? They use their Apaches on their carrier, don't they?


They were used from HMS Ocean against Libya in 2011 after modifications.
Will be a part of the QE carriers when in the helicopter assault role.

With the USMC, going back to the Vietnam era, they preferred a twin engine chopper, hence the Sea Cobra line, continually updated since then. Same with the UH-1 versions for them too.



Understand but the A64 is also a twin engine aircraft
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
VSMUT
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:34 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
Someone, somewhere, decided that, if the Marines were going to keep both the Cobra and the UH-1, they needed to come up with a way to make it more cost effective in replacement parts and man hours to support them, so they launched a program back in the 90s to increase their comonality. The AH-1Z and UH-1Y share a common tailboom, engines, rotor system, drivetrain, avionics architecture, software, controls and displays for over 84% identical components. (taken from Wikipedia) This makes their logistics chain much more manageable and increases their ability to keep both frames airworthy.


But then again, applying the same principle, navy ships also tend to be full of SH-60 variants. Adding SH-60s and AH-64s would only add one more type to the supply chain, same as the AH-1Z and UH-1Y did. Not to mention that they could also share the same supply chain as the army when they go ashore.
 
Max Q
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:08 pm

cjg225 wrote:
Undoubtedly this'll get moved to Military shortly...

As Dutchy points out, the USMC keeps their equipment for a long time. They are the smallest and, in many ways, least-well-funded of the US armed services. They have to make do with hand-me-downs and older equipment a lot. It keeps things simpler for them to keep the AH-1 variants than adopt a totally new and totally different airframe like the AH-64.




I’ve heard this before, that the Marines are poorly funded, doesn’t seem to stop them from signing up for, paying and taking delivery of some of, if not the most expensive and cutting edge aircraft available such as:

The F35B

The V22

The CH53K



To name just a few


All three custom built to a specific Marine requirement at great expense
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
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Nomadd
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:30 pm

There are a lot of great excuses for keeping the Cobra, but it comes down to the fact that the upgraded ones they're getting now cost about the same as buying Apaches would have. In other words, they're paying the same price for half the capability. Technical reasons aren't what made the decision.
 
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smithbs
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:41 pm

The AH-64 is pretty expensive to buy and operate, such that its larger size plus its operating overhead in space and cost might be considerable for ship deployment. The Apache was designed as the almost-ultimate Cold War tank killer, which is not a job for the Marines. The Marines care more about basing a helicopter on ship and sending it out to provide close air support to Marines on shore (or in boats) who are doing war the old fashioned way.

Besides, many technologies that the Apache pioneered or splurged on three decades ago are now available on the Whiskey and Zulu Cobras, including AGM-114, advanced optics in small packages, and so on. Unless your neighbor is Russia, why buy an Apache when you can buy a Cobra for cheaper and get most of the same thing?

The cost-per-effectiveness of the Cobra line has always been great (particularly for foreign users), probably peaking with the Whiskey. The Zulu might have some cost perks, but they spent a lot to make it that way.
 
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smithbs
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:45 pm

Max Q wrote:
cjg225 wrote:
Undoubtedly this'll get moved to Military shortly...

As Dutchy points out, the USMC keeps their equipment for a long time. They are the smallest and, in many ways, least-well-funded of the US armed services. They have to make do with hand-me-downs and older equipment a lot. It keeps things simpler for them to keep the AH-1 variants than adopt a totally new and totally different airframe like the AH-64.




I’ve heard this before, that the Marines are poorly funded, doesn’t seem to stop them from signing up for, paying and taking delivery of some of, if not the most expensive and cutting edge aircraft available such as:

The F35B

The V22

The CH53K



To name just a few


All three custom built to a specific Marine requirement at great expense


In my experience of being in a fellow service and working/observing Marines, they keep things relevant. They'll spend where they need to, and economize on everything else. You might be sitting in a shiny new Osprey, but you'll probably be holding the M16 your father used in the service, and maybe wearing your grandfather's backpack.
 
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N328KF
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:48 am

Max Q wrote:
cjg225 wrote:
Undoubtedly this'll get moved to Military shortly...

As Dutchy points out, the USMC keeps their equipment for a long time. They are the smallest and, in many ways, least-well-funded of the US armed services. They have to make do with hand-me-downs and older equipment a lot. It keeps things simpler for them to keep the AH-1 variants than adopt a totally new and totally different airframe like the AH-64.




I’ve heard this before, that the Marines are poorly funded, doesn’t seem to stop them from signing up for, paying and taking delivery of some of, if not the most expensive and cutting edge aircraft available such as:

The F35B

The V22

The CH53K



To name just a few


All three custom built to a specific Marine requirement at great expense


I get your point, but the F-35B stands out here. It was developed in partnership with two foreign services (Royal Navy and Royal Air Force) and it was known from the start that other customers would sign up. The USMC, RN, Italy, Japan, Korea, Singapore, have already signed up, and you know there'll be more.
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
-Donny Miller
 
VSMUT
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:47 am

smithbs wrote:
Unless your neighbor is Russia, why buy an Apache when you can buy a Cobra for cheaper and get most of the same thing?

The cost-per-effectiveness of the Cobra line has always been great (particularly for foreign users), probably peaking with the Whiskey. The Zulu might have some cost perks, but they spent a lot to make it that way.


Sure, that's what you say, and yet the AH-64 ran with the win in almost every competition between the two, including the definitely not bordering on Russia states like: Taiwan, Morocco, Indonesia, Qatar, South Korea and Bangladesh. Several of those even had older AH-1 variants before the AH-64 was selected.
 
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smithbs
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:52 pm

VSMUT wrote:
smithbs wrote:
Unless your neighbor is Russia, why buy an Apache when you can buy a Cobra for cheaper and get most of the same thing?

The cost-per-effectiveness of the Cobra line has always been great (particularly for foreign users), probably peaking with the Whiskey. The Zulu might have some cost perks, but they spent a lot to make it that way.


Sure, that's what you say, and yet the AH-64 ran with the win in almost every competition between the two, including the definitely not bordering on Russia states like: Taiwan, Morocco, Indonesia, Qatar, South Korea and Bangladesh. Several of those even had older AH-1 variants before the AH-64 was selected.


I'm entitled to my opinion, but if you like, we can look at numbers and see what the market says. Should we look up the number of operators for each type and post? I'd be also curious to see how many units of each were exported. AH-64 has a large production run but I'm curious how it has sold compared to AH-1 when not counting US Army orders.
 
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cjg225
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:36 pm

Max Q wrote:
I’ve heard this before, that the Marines are poorly funded, doesn’t seem to stop them from signing up for, paying and taking delivery of some of, if not the most expensive and cutting edge aircraft available such as:

The F35B

The V22

The CH53K



To name just a few


All three custom built to a specific Marine requirement at great expense

I would say those are the exception more than the rule, though, yes, they do sometimes get cool toys.

If you look across most of their TO&E, you see a lot of older equipment that they have either had for a long time or have received from the Army after the Army has upgraded. Their MBTs (which they are now giving up) have long been older ex-Army models.
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VSMUT
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:10 pm

smithbs wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
smithbs wrote:
Unless your neighbor is Russia, why buy an Apache when you can buy a Cobra for cheaper and get most of the same thing?

The cost-per-effectiveness of the Cobra line has always been great (particularly for foreign users), probably peaking with the Whiskey. The Zulu might have some cost perks, but they spent a lot to make it that way.


Sure, that's what you say, and yet the AH-64 ran with the win in almost every competition between the two, including the definitely not bordering on Russia states like: Taiwan, Morocco, Indonesia, Qatar, South Korea and Bangladesh. Several of those even had older AH-1 variants before the AH-64 was selected.


I'm entitled to my opinion, but if you like, we can look at numbers and see what the market says. Should we look up the number of operators for each type and post? I'd be also curious to see how many units of each were exported. AH-64 has a large production run but I'm curious how it has sold compared to AH-1 when not counting US Army orders.


What, actual numbers? Certainly:

AH-1Z: 1 current operator and 2 waiting for delivery. Altogether something like 220 sold, of which exports are a measly 16.
AH-64: Over 2400 across 18 customers. Exports run up to over 500 in the same period in which the AH-1Z has been offered for sale.

There is just no comparison. There have been more AH-64s built than all AH-1 variants combined, going all the way back to the Vietnam war.
 
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smithbs
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:31 am

VSMUT wrote:
smithbs wrote:
VSMUT wrote:

Sure, that's what you say, and yet the AH-64 ran with the win in almost every competition between the two, including the definitely not bordering on Russia states like: Taiwan, Morocco, Indonesia, Qatar, South Korea and Bangladesh. Several of those even had older AH-1 variants before the AH-64 was selected.


I'm entitled to my opinion, but if you like, we can look at numbers and see what the market says. Should we look up the number of operators for each type and post? I'd be also curious to see how many units of each were exported. AH-64 has a large production run but I'm curious how it has sold compared to AH-1 when not counting US Army orders.


What, actual numbers? Certainly:

AH-1Z: 1 current operator and 2 waiting for delivery. Altogether something like 220 sold, of which exports are a measly 16.
AH-64: Over 2400 across 18 customers. Exports run up to over 500 in the same period in which the AH-1Z has been offered for sale.

There is just no comparison. There have been more AH-64s built than all AH-1 variants combined, going all the way back to the Vietnam war.


Uh, hmm - I thought we were comparing all AH-1s (single and dual engine) vs AH-64? Taking just the Zulu against all AH-64 production that ever happened since the 1970s is an unequal contest.

AH-1 and AH-64 total production numbers are remarkably similar. I believe the AH-1 has sold in larger numbers as export than the AH-64 has, although AH-64 probably wins in dollar value due to its much greater expense. Unfortunately I can't find a source for exact numbers - if you have a source, that would be most helpful.
 
GDB
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Re: Why didn’t the Marines buy the AH64 ?

Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:48 am

smithbs wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
smithbs wrote:

I'm entitled to my opinion, but if you like, we can look at numbers and see what the market says. Should we look up the number of operators for each type and post? I'd be also curious to see how many units of each were exported. AH-64 has a large production run but I'm curious how it has sold compared to AH-1 when not counting US Army orders.


What, actual numbers? Certainly:

AH-1Z: 1 current operator and 2 waiting for delivery. Altogether something like 220 sold, of which exports are a measly 16.
AH-64: Over 2400 across 18 customers. Exports run up to over 500 in the same period in which the AH-1Z has been offered for sale.

There is just no comparison. There have been more AH-64s built than all AH-1 variants combined, going all the way back to the Vietnam war.


Uh, hmm - I thought we were comparing all AH-1s (single and dual engine) vs AH-64? Taking just the Zulu against all AH-64 production that ever happened since the 1970s is an unequal contest.

AH-1 and AH-64 total production numbers are remarkably similar. I believe the AH-1 has sold in larger numbers as export than the AH-64 has, although AH-64 probably wins in dollar value due to its much greater expense. Unfortunately I can't find a source for exact numbers - if you have a source, that would be most helpful.


Many of the AH-1's exported have been surplus US Army, though large numbers of the twin AH-1J were sold, to Iran in the 1970's.
Have any AH-1W's been sold abroad?

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