The US Army’s latest Apache attack helicopter version, the AH-64D Longbow Block III, will include at least 25 technology upgrades including interoperability with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), which will allow an Apache pilot to control a drone, access its streaming video and use its sensors for target engagement while in flight.
The AH-64D Block III will reportedly be the only aircraft with such a capability. Pilots will no longer rely on voice information from UAS operators for situational awareness as they will now be able to control the flight path of a UAS, view streaming video and upload sensor data. Another important upgrade to the Block III Apaches involves high-hot operation with the helicopters being refitted with T700-GE-701D engines from GE Aviation. The helicopters will have new composite blades that increase lift and speed. Apart from the US Army, several international customers including India are interested in the AH-64D Block III.