Thursday 13 June, 2024
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British Army’s AH-64E Apache helicopter declared operational

The British Army announced that its new Apache AH-64E attack helicopter has been declared ready for frontline duty after being put through its paces on Exercise Iron Titan.

During Exercise Iron Titan, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps (3 Regt AAC) underwent extensive testing in all areas of its operations, including logistics, command and control procedures, as well as maintenance and operation of the advanced AH-64E helicopter in the field.

The exercise served as a validation of 3 Regt AAC’s role as an aviation deep attack battlegroup, which provides AH-64Es and Wildcat reconnaissance helicopters of 1 Regiment Army Air Corps to 3rd (UK) Division, the British Army’s warfighting division.

The AH-64E plays a crucial role in the Army’s Future Soldier transformation programme and is expected to be a key element in the Army’s fighting capabilities for the coming decades.

Over a period of six weeks, 3 Regt AAC has completed numerous deployments, setting up temporary facilities in Nesscliffe, Shropshire, and Eaglescott and Chivenor in Devon. During the exercise, the AH-64Es were used to carry out simulated strike missions on enemy positions located as far apart as Otterburn in Northumberland and Lydd in Kent.

The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) technicians were responsible for keeping the aircraft in working order, while the ground crew ran isolated Forward Arming and Refuelling Points to ensure the aircraft’s fuel tanks and weapons pylons remained full.

Lieutenant Colonel Rich Simcock, 3 Regt AAC’s Commanding Officer, stated that the AH-64E is the world’s most advanced attack helicopter, and the revolutionary changes it brings in terms of agility, survivability, lethality, and integration with other capabilities are nothing short of revolutionary.

The AH-64E was introduced into service in 2021 as a replacement for the Apache Mk. 1. The latter had already proven itself as a battle-winning asset in Afghanistan and Libya. The AH-64E, manufactured by Boeing, boasts of new drivetrain and rotor blades that enhance its flying performance, improved sights and sensors, advanced communication systems to share data with other helicopters, unmanned aircraft systems, and ground forces, and embedded maintenance diagnostic systems that increase the aircraft’s availability.

Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie is the founder and editor of DefenceToday.com. Neil is also the editor of other online publications covering military history, defence and security. He can be found on Twitter: @NeilRitchie86.

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