From: on a mountain in Idaho
The Apaches seem to be rather less vulnerable and more powerful than reality. There was the rather major debacle in Gulf War 2 and a series of concerns in the Kosovo War,etc:
The level of damage inflicted the the iraqi RG on that Apache unit would suggest the WP/USSR would dish out rather more.
Well it's about time for me to put in my 2 cents worth again, it has been awhile.
The article above is a pretty bonehead one. The author really doesn't know the entire story. When it comes to the battle he is referring to in Iraq, some of the aircraft suffered battle damage but no where to the extent he suggests. As for the aircraft that was "shot down", not even, the crew ran out of gas. The aircraft wasn't even damaged. The 2 dummies deserved to be caught for running out IMO.
Jump forward to Kosovo, I remember that very well too. Yes, there were 2 training crashes resulting in fatalities, but then again, when I was in Germany out flying in my Cobra one night, there were 2 apache crashes then resulting in 4 fatalities too. It just happened to be a nasty night. While I used Anvis at night, the early models of the Apache's NVS (thermals) can't see wires and that's what got both of them.
It is unfortunate that in peacetime shortcuts to save money are taken, and one way it was done was to reduce flight hours for training. The aircraft itself was hard to maintain and pretty expensive to fly, so those pilots had far fewer hours than we did in our cobra's.
When they got deployed to Kosovo, they didn't have any train-up time and were thrown into an unfamiliar mountainous area. It's no wonder they had 2 crashes, I knew one of the pilots that died. The command got gun shy after losing 2 in training, considering at the time the Apache was developing the Longbow variant and the Comanche was also being developed. Even though the two weren't supposed to be in competition, they really were. So losing many apaches could have had a huge impact on future development. FYI, I spent 8 years on the Comanche program when the plug was pulled on it. Politics caused it's demise and I suspect politics played a role in holding the apaches back in Kosovo.
I also want to add some about Soviet Hinds. They were pretty well armed and armored as you all know, but they were pretty heavy and couldn't really hover too well and were not nearly as maneuverable as a cobra. I had no fear what so ever about air to air encounters with them, the 20mm cannon on my cobra would make mincemeat of them. I couldn't out race them for they were faster than me, but I could fly circles around them. On a side note, their pilots got even less flight time than our Apache guys.
There were 5 Soviet armies in the former E Germany each with a regiment of 40 Hind-e's with a few f models thrown in. Their maintenance record was pretty atrocious and rarely got to 75%, typically it was 50%. But let's say they managed to put all the Hinds into the air, that's 200 for all of Germany. Add in the few the E Germans had (Hind-d's) and maybe an extra regiment or 2 from the motherland. So at full strength we might have seen 300 Hind to cover the entire front.
US forces in Germany on the other hand had 350 to 400 apaches in country in 1988 along with around 80 cobras. That doesn't include the Reforger units that would have added at least another 400 apaches and another hundred or so cobras. Add in the Brits, W Germans, French, Dutch, Belgium, and Danish helo units and Nato would have out numbered the Warsaw Pact about 3 to 1 in helos.
What was a bigger concern to me than their helo's was the 2S6 ADA vehicle, probably the best ADA of it's type. The SA-19 is a nasty missile that can lock onto the Doppler effect created by a rotor system even if the helo is tucked in below the treeline. I've seen what that missile can do. But the US in 1988-90 wasn't defensless, there were more stinger teams on the battlefield than you could imagine, they were everywhere. The armored units were deploying Linebacker, a Bradley modified with stingers mounted on the turret and a 25mm modified for AA engagements. I don't know how prevalent they were, but we had them in the 3rd ID during the Reforger 88 exercise.
Well I need to go get my dinner before it burns, nice chatting with all of you again.
< Message edited by Sabre21 -- 12/29/2014 12:13:54 AM >