The prototype Apache made its first flight in 1975 as the YAH-64, and in 1976, Hughes received a full-scale development contract.
In 1982, the US Army approved the programme, now known as AH-64A Apache, for production. Deliveries began in 1984 — the year Hughes Helicopters became part of McDonnell Douglas.
The AH-64D Apache Longbow, which first flew as a prototype on May 14, 1992, provided a quantum leap in capability over the AH-64A.
US Army accepted the first advanced technology Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow, referred to as Block II.
Boeing delivered the first AH-64D Apache Block III multirole attack helicopter to the US Army. Block III brought superior flight performance and increased networked communications capabilities. The AH-64D Apache Block III was renamed the AH-64E Apache ‘Guardian’ in 2012.
In 2012, Boeing also received all-new fuselages for the first AH-64E helicopters, incorporating a variety of small but important modifications to accommodate AH-64E configuration changes. More than 100 AH64Es had been produced as of October 2014.