The Israeli air force's Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters are to receive a paint peeling treatment. This will not necessarily make them look better, but will improve their performance.

The paint peeling activity is to be performed on the service's AH-64A "Peten" aircraft, with thedecision prompted by the aircraft having become heavier as a result of dedicated systems being installed.

A service source told the Israeli air force magazine that the Apache has almost reached its maximum weight limitation.

A test activity conducted on two aircraft to remove layers of old paint decreased the helicopter's weight by "dozens of kilograms", the source adds. As a result, the process will be performed on the remainder of Israel's Apache fleet.

Removing the old paint alsoallowed the air force to remove balance weights and freed up space for the installation of new systems, a maintenance officer involved in the project says.

The successful trial with the Apache has already resulted in the evaluation of a similar process on other types, the officer adds.