The dedicated attack helicopter has revolutionized armored warfare with its tank-killing capabilities, close-support qualities and battlefield survivability.
The dedicated attack helicopter emerged during the Cold War years when the tank proved the key enemy. Every frontline player, particularly in Europe, centered their land power around the value of the Main Battle Tank (MBT). The basic formula has only slightly changed today where land forces still rely on firepower, performance, and battlefield survivability. The counter to this force is the Attack Helicopter which is fielded with similar qualities in mind. These platforms are typically two-seaters with wingstubs offering variable ordnance options but principally the Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM). More recent developments included precision-guided rockets. In any case, the dedicated Attack Helicopter remains a key component to armies of the globe for their value has yet to diminish in the current age of digital processing and advanced air defense.
For the purposes of the GFP listing, only dedicated attack helicopters are considered - gunships or other converted transport platforms are excluded. Primary attack helicopter examples include the American Hughes AH-64 Apache, the European Eurocopter Tiger, and the Soviet-Russian Mil Mi-24/35 Hind series. Systems on order (heading into next year) are not included in the totals below.