The Perfect Soldier: Special Operations, Commandos, and the Future of Us Warfare by James F. Dunnigan
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Tiger Stalks Apache
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by James Dunnigan
February 2, 2008
The German Army has received the first of 80
Tiger HAD helicopter gunships [PHOTO]. The Tiger slowly entered service five years ago.
The HAD version has 14 percent more engine power and better protection from
ground fire. While earlier versions were mainly for anti-vehicle work, the HAD
model is more like the current U.S. AH-64 Apache, and optimized for ground
support. Development of Tiger began in 1987, before the Cold War ended. So the
anti-tank aspect took a while to disappear. The Tiger costs about as much as
the AH-64 (about $45 million each).
The six ton Tiger has a crew of two and
a max speed of 280 kilometers an hour. It cruises at 230 kilometers an hour,
usually stays in the air about three hours per sortie. It is armed with a 30mm
automatic cannon, 70mm rocket pods (19 rockets per pod) and various types
of air-to-ground missiles (eight
Hellfire types at once). It can also carry four Mistral anti-aircraft missiles.
France has bought 80 Tigers, Spain 24
and Australia 22. The eight ton AH-64 has been in service for 25 years, and
nearly 1,100 have been built so far.