The latest aid package to Ukraine from the UK is going to contain 4 AH-64E  attack helicopters complete with Hellfire missiles.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has confirmed the package will also include Challenger 2 tanks in response to multiple requests for additional weaponry from Ukrainian President Zenelsky.

Apache in flight. Image from Dvids

Unnamed Ukrainian government sources state that “The Apache will be a major game changer.” They hope that other NATO members will follow suit. They acknowledge that although the number of these helicopters is small, it’s a major step in the right direction.

A legitimate concern is that these helicopters act as “white elephants” and not utilized since there are only four of them and it damaged, the Ukrainians will not have an easy time repairing them or replacing parts.

The AH-64 isn’t exactly a new helicopter, being put into service by the US Army in 1986 as a replacement.  It’s manufactured by Boeing aircraft, with them manufacturing over 2,400 by the year 2020. Americas are the primary operators of this gunship; however, they are also used by the UK, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands, and Greece.

The Apache can acquire multiple targets at once and engage them from a distance of over 10 miles. Multiple targets, tanks in the case of Hellfire missiles, can be taken out of the fight in seconds.

The Apache fires, among other munitions, the AGM 114 Hellfire at a unit cost of approximately $150,000 each.  These are known as “tank killers” and can be fired from land, air or sea platforms.  Most variants are laser-guided and have a range of 8,000 meters.

The Hellfire is not new to the Ukrainian theater of operations, with Norway sending 160 of them to the warring nation back in September of 2022.