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Wattisham Flying Station airmen debut Apache AH-64E – the most advanced attack helicopter in the world





The Army has debuted its new Apache helicopter, billed as the 'most advanced in the world', which is based in Suffolk.

In a two-week exercise, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, based at Wattisham Flying Station, carried out training missions at three locations across the country with the Apache AH-64E attack helicopter.

Apache pilot Captain ‘H’ said the switch to the AH-64E from the Apache Mk.1 it replaces was like changing your mobile phone from a Nokia 3310 to an iPhone 14.

The British Army’s new Apache AH-64E attack helicopter has taken its first outing into the field. Picture: Cpl Houghton, British Army
The British Army’s new Apache AH-64E attack helicopter has taken its first outing into the field. Picture: Cpl Houghton, British Army

“The aircraft may look the same from the outside, but everything’s changed inside to bring improved capabilities in sensors, flying performance, weaponry and communications,” he said.

Dubbed Exercise Talon Guardian, the unit deployed from Wattisham to the rugged Otterburn Ranges in Northumberland.

Amid the area’s fog, rain and wind, aircrew tested themselves on the air defence ranges of RAF Spadeadam and hunted for artillery and armoured vehicles.

Staging through RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire, the unit then moved to Bramley in Hampshire for the AH-64Es to hunt on Salisbury Plain for tanks protected by air defence systems.

Lieutenant Colonel Simon Wilsey, 3 Regt AAC’s commanding officer, said: "Exercise Talon Guardian is a really significant step forward for the British Army’s AH-64E, which is the most advanced attack helicopter in the world.

"We’ve been working hard to learn how to fly and maintain the AH-64E; now we’re getting the aircraft out into the field, tackling the additional complexities of living, planning, maintaining and operating in an austere environment and developing how we fight with it."