British Army Apaches have fired Hellfire missiles for the first time whilst flying from a Royal Navy warship.
A significant milestone in proving the capability of Apache to operate and strike from the sea, 30mm cannon and Hellfire missiles were successfully fired against seaborne targets in a long-planned exercise near Gibraltar.
In total, 550 rounds of 30mm and 9 radar-guided Hellfire missiles were fired, achieving a 100% strike rate. This was the first time that Hellfire has been launched in the maritime environment.
The last two weeks have seen a succession of firsts for the Army Air Corps (AAC) Attack Helicopter Force at sea. Currently deployed onboard HMS Ocean, the Royal Navys largest warship, 656 Squadron from 4 Regiment AAC have spent the past few weeks conducting intensive training that will allow them to operate by day and by night...
Which proves what precisely? That a combat proven missile that's been in service for years works when you press the tit? Did it pass you by that Hellfires at sea are nothing new? USMC and USN have been doing it for years with their SH-60's and AH-1's. Not forgetting of course that Israeli Apaches have been firing Hellfires at land targets from off the coast of various bits of the Levant for many years.
Was their some super cereal technical challenge the AAC pilots had to master when firing the missile when hovering over water vs land?
You don't think the missiles, kit and spares are just stacked in crates on the flight deck or in the hangar until they are needed do you? If you were a little more savvy about the maritime issues on which you so frequently pontificate, you'd realise that there is more to proving a sea-going capability than just "pressing the tit".
I'm sure there is a very good reason some people are getting all moist because a helicopter designed to work in the most austere of battlefield conditions with no shiney support, can operate from a Helicopter Carrier, (hmmm, helicopter), that has full aviation support facilities, (including weapons storage), for armed and non armed helicopters and a nice cosy hanger, (and from which AH-64's carried out operating trials as far back as 2004), and while doing so, it can actually fire it's very reliable and battlefield proven missile that comes in a nice package that needs no super careful environmental storage. I mean, it's not as if TOW armed Lynx's haven't been operating from Ocean for donkeys, is it?
Now, if after 7 years of practicing, the AH-64 wasn't able to operate and fire it's missiles from Ocean, THAT would be news.
Cougar was originally meant to be a display of far more vessels than currently deployed however due to Ellamy and another Op not currently mentioned on these boards, some ships due to take part are obviously unavailable.
Having recently returned from previously not mentioned Op it is good as a land force to be looking out to sea and seeing the Navy ships rather than being stuck on a Ship and looking out at nothing but Sea it kinda gets boring after a few weeks.
I take my hat off to the Naval Service as the guys I met on my deployment where supposed to be going round the UK at the time and when I left they had no idea of when they would be back in British waters, they just took it in their stride. Although I must say, I though that the Navy could drink???? My bar bill was £116 after 4 weeks and they called me an Alcoholic???? 4 weeks guys not 2 nights