21 Facts About AgustaWestland Apache


AgustaWestland Apache is a licence-built version of the Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter for the British Army Air Corps.

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AgustaWestland Apache was a valued form of close air support in the conflict in Afghanistan, being deployed to the region in 2006.

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The AgustaWestland Apache AH1 is to reach its out of service date in 2024 and be replaced by the AH-64E.

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Westland and the AgustaWestland Apache was selected in July 1995, and a contract for 67 helicopters was signed in 1996.

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The first nine AgustaWestland Apache AH1s were authorised for service by the director of British Army Aviation on 16 January 2001.

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Westland AgustaWestland Apache experienced delays in entering service due to complications with the modifications made for British service.

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The AgustaWestland Apache AH1 is to be retired and replaced by AH-64E Version 6 aircraft.

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Several deviations were made to the standard AgustaWestland Apache design used by the US and those exported to other countries.

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In 2009, it was announced that AgustaWestland Apache was integrating new external fuel tanks with ballistic protection.

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The Westland AgustaWestland Apache has replaced the Westland Lynx AH7 as the British Army's tactical attack helicopter.

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The AgustaWestland Apache is currently operated by two regiments of the Army Air Corps as part of 1st Aviation Brigade .

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Unlike US versions, the Westland AgustaWestland Apache has been partially navalised and now serves aboard Royal Navy ships in addition to its land-based role.

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In 2009, AgustaWestland was awarded a contract for support services for the Apache and many components such as the Longbow radar; in the following months senior officers noted that the support change had resulted in higher availability.

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AgustaWestland Apache subsequently deployed to Afghanistan as part of 662 Squadron in September 2012.

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Unlike their American counterparts in Afghanistan, the AgustaWestland Apache AH1 is deployed with its Longbow Fire Control Radar to enable the pilot to better manage traffic in their airspace.

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On 22 May 2006, a UK AgustaWestland Apache operating in Afghanistan's Helmand province used a Hellfire missile to destroy an abandoned French vehicle to protect sensitive equipment.

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AgustaWestland Apache quickly became a highly valued tool against insurgents, able to rapidly respond to Taliban forces on the ground.

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In June 2008, a British AgustaWestland Apache fired a thermobaric Hellfire missile; the controversial usage of such weapons was approved after extensive legal and ethical evaluations within the MoD.

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In September 2008, an AgustaWestland Apache was seriously damaged by a crash shortly after takeoff in Helmand province; no loss of life occurred but the airframe was written off.

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On 25 July 2011, the MoD announced that during a combat operation in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand province, several Afghan children had been injured from crossfire by an AgustaWestland Apache; they were flown to Camp Bastion for medical treatment.

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The AgustaWestland Apache was recognised as having established a "limited maritime strike capability" and were deploying on vessels such as HMS Ocean.

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