British Army's new 'battle-winning' Apache attack helicopters undergo test flights

January 21, 2022

The British Army's new Apache helicopters - that can detect 256 potential targets at once and prioritise threats in a matter of seconds - are undergoing test flights.

With a top speed of 186mph, the new fleet can detect targets up to a range of 10 miles.

So far, 14 models of the AH-64E Apache helicopter have been delivered to Wattisham Flying Station in Suffolk, with 36 more due to arrive by summer 2024.

They will replace the Apache AH Mark 1, which will go out of service in 2024.

Defence procurement minister Jeremy Quin said: "There can be no doubt these impressive Apache helicopters will help the Army sustain its battle-winning capabilities in future operations.

"In addition to its vital defence purpose, this cutting-edge technology will create and support hundreds of UK jobs."

To support and maintain the new fleet, a 20-year agreement has been signed with Boeing Defence UK.

The first period of the agreement runs until July 2025 with £287m confirmed and is set to create more than 200 jobs in the UK, including 165 for the Army Aviation Centre at Middle Wallop in Hampshire and 45 at Wattisham Flying Station.

The Apache capability has been used by the British Army since 2005, with the attack helicopters used in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Sir Chris Tickell KBE, said: "I am delighted at the introduction of the AH-64E into British Army service, signifying our commitment to investing in the right equipment for our people to compete and win against the threats facing the UK."

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