But at the end of the story, helicopters are one of the reason to create BMPT.
Not really... BMPT would not be that effective at more than about 3km range against air targets and its gun mix of AP and HE rounds only means only the HE rounds would be very effective against aerial targets... and the incredibly low rate of fire along with the limited on board supply of 30mm ammo means air defence is a very secondary feature.
AD complexes as Tor, Tunguska, Pantsir, etc, are usually few kilometers behind the tanks, so usually they very difficultly fire on low hovering helicopters, if they don't want to kill their own troop in front of them.
The vast majority of targets will be engaged with missiles and operating a few kms behind the tanks means the 1km dead zone around the air defence vehicles is not so relevant as they will be defending vehicles operating inside their engagement zone.
With modern fire control systems and guided gun launched missiles and excellent long range optics most helos would actually be under serious threat from tanks as well as air defence vehicles.
Connected with IADS and C4I, BMPT could be well aware of AH-64D
All vehicles in the battlespace will have a view of the battlefield and if an AH-64D apache is flying around it just needs to be detected and tracked by one air defence asset and it will appear on all the threat maps so BMPs perhaps with 57mm laser guided shells and all other vehicles will see it.
BMPT will be far closer to Apache than Tunguska and far more dangerous.
Kornets take 3 seconds to cover 1km... even the old model Sa-19s take less that 10 seconds to travel 8km and with a rather better optimised payload.
To avoid this helos like the Apache follow a nap of the earth flight and terrain masking as this denies line of sight tracking and weapon aiming or guidance.
Quite true, though the fact that the US standard short range SAMs are Chapparal and Stinger.... both with less than 6km range, while Soviet/Russian short range SAMs include SA-13, SA-8, Sa-19, SA-22, TOR... of which only SA-13 lacks the range of Hellfire... which is not to say it is vulnerable. Careful positioning of the system so that the likely direction the Apache will come from will mean the SA-13 is completely covered by a building or trees but that when the Apache is exposed to SA-13 fire (and vice versa) the distance is much shorter and gives the SA-13 no disadvantage... it is called an ambush and is much easier with ground forces than with aircraft.
Proximity detonation will not destroy the AH 64D
Small arms fire has proven able to bring down an Apache.. the HE power of the SA-19 is enormous compared with an RPG... it would likely blow off the main rotor blades.
That being said ,existing radar based MAWS technology could be adapted to deal with RPGs as well .
No it couldn't. An RPG moves at about 375m/s... and to track a target as small as an RPG that will be fired from the ground for any useful period of time... say 10 seconds would mean you are emitting a very powerful signal that could be used to track and engage you. A helicopter pilot would need an absolute minimum of 5 seconds warning of an incoming threat and even then he would need precise information on what manouver to perform... warning of an incoming threat is not enough... just a warning might lead to the pilot turning or changing course and actually flying into an RPG that was going to miss anyway.
This is not a AH64 D specific problem .
The Mi 28 , Eurocopter Tiger among others also have to face this challenge .
Staying low and hiding behind cover protect all helos from threats, but the Mi-28N can fire on a Chapparal or a Stinger knowing their 8km range Ataka-M missiles put them outside the effective range of the threat. The AH64D Apache pilot has 8km range Hellfires to use against Tunguska with 10km range missiles, or Pantsir with 12km range missiles, or TOR with 12km range missiles... or new models with 20km range missiles.
Used properly the Apache is a very effective attack helo, but it has not rendered Soviet air defence systems of the 1980s obsolete yet and this MANPAD will be useful against it too.
The Ah 64D was able to drastically reduce direct missile hits in Af-Pak by combining
(1) the ITT AN/ALQ 211 Suite of RF countermeasures comprising a lamp or laser directed IR jammer,
(2) an ALE-47 dispenser and an AAR-57 passive UV Common
(3) Missile Warning System,
(4) pulse doppler and continuous wave warning receiver ,
(5) a pulse and continuous wave jammer & RF expendable jammers
the Apache never faced anything approaching the performance of Tunguska in Iraq or Afghanistan... of the 5 items you listed none of them would stop a SA-19 from 1985 let alone anything newer.
I am therefore venturing to guess that RPGs will pose a bigger challenge to the Ah 64D than the Verba MANPAD
I totally agree... simply because there are so many RPGs out there and the obvious fact that the US wont deploy the Apache anywhere where modern MANPADs might be operating... ie KOSOVO et al. Which is perfectly sensible for them to do BTW.
Direct RPG hit would cause in 90% of the time less damage than a MANPAD or a 125mm HE-frag. RPG's are shaped charges that pierce holes through and as long they do not directly hit with the jetstream fuel tanks, engines, rotors, flightcontrol or pilot it will have much lower result than proximity fuzed weapons.
Very true. RPGs are designed for penetration and the most widely deployed ones are HEAT and are designed to penetrate armour in the forward sector.
Further the tactics used for RPG attack involve positioning lots of RPG launchers approximately 950m from where the aircraft are expected because the chance of a direct hit is incredibly low they rely on an air burst where its self destruct fuse sets off the warhead in the hope that fragments might hit the helo.
Manpads on the other hand are likely to actually make contact with the target while 125mm shells carry rather more HE, and SA-19 has both features.
the other part is only during NoE flights are RPG's even considered as a threat.
For a while RPGs were very effective because the western habit of hovering to launch attacks from helicopters.... hovering behind a tree does not hide you from threats behind you or to one side or the other. Obvious tactics is to look around your main base for potential attack points suitable for helos to hide behind cover and then pop up to launch an attack. Send a few men to hide near these points and give them plenty of rockets... not that hard really.
the Soviet and Russian tactic of diving on the target improves accuracy and reduces vulnerability to small arms fire and RPGs... just keep moving and the chance of getting a hit dramatically reduces.
For the Soviets in Afghanistan the only time their helos were vulnerable to RPGs was landing troops or taking off with troops... the main victim of RPGs in Afghanistan for the Soviets will the Mi-8... but they soon learned tactics to reduce their vulnerability.