Below article about the Apache...maybe the yanks didn't use them right. Hopefully our usage as shiv suggested above, will yield better results. But Apaches becoming 'non-mission capable' after being hit small arms and rpg fire is definitely scary. I had read another article on the Mil-28 or KA-50? somewhere on this forum where it is claimed to be more hardy due to the use of composites.http://www.defenceaviation.com/2011/09/attack-helicopters-losing-their-touch.html
The Apache was built with increased firepower, range, and maneuverability in mind to cover the AH-1′s shortcomings. First deployed for Operation Just Cause (US Invasion of Panama, 1989), the Apache was praised for its precision, namely with its rocketry and chain gun. After Panama, the Apache saw extensive use in the First Persian Gulf War. In spite of its low mission-capable rate, it participated in thousands of sorties against Iraqi radar sites and armored vehicles. Apache losses in the Gulf War were few, and the damage they inflicted was extensive, especially in the famed “Highway of Death”, where American artillery and aircraft decimated the elite Iraqi Republican Guard.
The Apache’s troubles don’t begin until the 1999 Kosovo Air War, when 24 Apaches bringing American troops had to be grounded due to the crashing of two during training exercises. American Analysts determined that the Apache was too vulnerable to Serbian SAMs, even though they didn’t have difficulties with Iraqi SAMs in the Persian Gulf War, and did not use the Apache extensively in the Balkans as a result.
Apache’s troubles don’t stop there. While proving somewhat useful in Afghanistan, Apache’s proved useless in the Second Persian Gulf War. On March 24th, 33 Apaches were dispatched to attack an infantry division of the Republican Guard. In a fairly unsuccessful strike, one was shot down and 30 were severely damaged by rifle and RPG fire, with some becoming non-mission capable. After the incident, Apaches were used more cautiously, and less often in attack against enemy ground forces, which was one of the key roles the aircraft was built to perform. Apaches were mostly used for recon after the engagement, and several more were lost or extensively damaged in Iraq in both the recon and attack roles. The only notable incident released to the public in Afghanistan was several years back when, as part of Operation Anaconda, seven Apaches attacked a Taliban positions and returned full of holes. Five were declared non-mission capable. While their ability to return to base in such conditions speaks well of their survivability and crew safety, the fact that they consistently get shot up so badly in the few large engagements they’re in, and that they are incapable of fighting for long periods of time after said engagements downgrades their reliability. Another part of their low reliability is their inability to function in all environments. In the First Persian Gulf War, Apaches had a mission capable rate of 30% due to problems with sand, a downgrade from the average 80% (AH-64A) to 84% (AH-64D).