The Army's aircraft enable our soldiers to carry out vital roles including reconnaissance missions and casualty evacuations, as well as troop transport and high-tech, anti-tank combat. The Apache attack helicopter is probably the most sophisticated piece of equipment in the world available to front-line troops.
Apache attack helicopter
Designed to hunt and destroy tanks, the Apache attack helicopter has significantly improved the Army's operational capability.
The Apache attack helicopter can operate in all weathers, day or night and detect, classify and prioritise up to 256 potential targets in a matter of seconds. It carries a mix of weapons including rockets, Hellfire missiles and a 30mm chain gun, as well as a state of the art fully integrated defensive aid suite.
In addition to the distinctive Longbow radar located above the rotor blades, this aircraft is equipped with a day TV system, thermal imaging sight and direct view optics.
In service date
2 x 850shp Rolls Royce RTM-322
Main rotor diameter
16 x Hellfire missiles
76 x 2.75 CRV-7 rockets
1,200 x 30mm cannon rounds
4 x air-to-air missiles
The latest fleet of Apaches flown by Army Air Corps pilots from the Joint Helicopter Command, are more advanced and more capable than the previous model which will provide the Army with a continuous edge over any future adversaries.
The new AH64E model of the helicopter can also carry more weapons while being more fuel efficient, allowing the Apache to operate in more demanding conditions for longer durations.
The new helicopter’s improved computing capacity and updated sensors means the new fleet will also be receptive to upgrades in the future, ensuring it remains at the cutting-edge of technology.
The first UK helicopters are due off the US production line in early 2020 and will begin entering service with the British Army in 2022.
The Army Wildcat Mk1 helicopter will perform a range of tasks on the battlefield including reconnaissance, command and control, transportation of troops and material, and the provision of force protection.
It is fitted with new Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company (LHTEC) CTS800-4N engines, which are significantly more powerful than those in its predecessor, the Lynx, enabling it to operate in extreme conditions and at high altitudes.
The Wildcat is fitted with a nose mounted MX-15 Wescam Electro Optical Device (EOD) enabling it to detect targets by day and night at significant range.
The name Wildcat recalls the name given to the Grumman F4F which was widely used during the Second World War. The aircraft ceased operational service in 1945 but some flying aircraft remain, including one in the collection of the Imperial War Museum Duxford.
Light Helicopter Turbine Engine Company (LHTEC) CTS800-4N
Watchkeeper - Uncrewed Air System
Watchkeeper is an uncrewed aircraft system with a range of intelligence and reconnaissance cameras and sensors, including a state-of-the-art surveillance radar. It lets the Army see things up to 200km away and helps keep our troops safe. It gathers information, such as spotting enemy activity, during the day and at night. It is built in the UK, and has been used successfully in Afghanistan, where is played a crucial protective role for British troops. Since the first flight in 2010, Watchkeeper has accumulated over 3,000 flying hours
Watchkeeper is an intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) asset, that can collect, process and disseminate high quality imagery intelligence. This can be networked to senior commanders and analysts as well as streaming imagery and radar pictures to troops on the ground. It is a versatile aircraft which can be used in warfighting as well a wide range of other scenarios..
Watchkeeper it is an autonomous system that always requires a ‘human in the loop’ to authorise all aspect of its operations. It is built to operate in range of ground and air conditions and is equipped to support a wide range of military and security missions. The system has a range of sensors and infra-red full motion video cameras, able to operate at day and night. Identifying assets on the ground is a primary function of Watchkeeper and it is fitted with radar technology and a ground movement target indicator.
Within Watchkeeper’s laser sub-system are a separate target marker, designator, and range finder to assist in identifying different assets. The Watchkeeper system was built in the UK by Thales, with a UK supply chain supporting British manufacturing jobs.
The system has undergone rigorous flight testing in west Wales and is certified to operate safely in UK airspace. The 47th Regiment Royal Artillery based at Larkhill, Wiltshire is responsible for Watchkeeper, with troops from that regiment being trained in how to safely and effectively operate the system. With Watchkeeper primarily operating in the land environment, it is the Army, rather than the RAF, who are responsible for operating the aircraft.
Size: 6.5m long, 10.9m wingspan
Take-off weight: 485kg
Range from ground station: 150km
Cruise speed: 77Kts
Aircraft endurance: 14 hours
During the development of Watchkeeper, there were some incidents involving the system crashing in the UK. These incidents were all subject to inquiries, the full details of which can be accessed below:
The Gazelle was first produced in 1968 under an Anglo-French agreement between Westlands and Aerospatiale.
The Gazelle, fondly referred to as the "whistling chicken leg", has proved an incredibly reliable observation and reconnaissance helicopter for many years.
Although, having only one engine, it is not as powerful as many others, but its lightweight chassis offsets any deficit it might have. Advantages include its small agile nature, and its unparalleled visibility from the cockpit.
1 x Turbomeca Astazou III N2 592 shp
Main rotor diameter
The Bell 212 is used by the Army Air Corps in the jungle areas of Brunei.
A winch on the side of the aircraft also enables medical evacuation in otherwise difficult terrain.
Consequently the Bell 212 is currently employed in predominantly jungle areas where its performance is a great advantage.
Airbus 135 'Juno'
The Juno is a helicopter produced by Airbus Helicopters and first entered service on 12 May 2017.
The modern aircraft is the training helicopter of choice for the tri-service Defence Helicopter Flying School based out of RAF Shawbury and first was used by students in 2018.
This twin-engine helicopter is the perfect platform for instructing all the different flying techniques required of new pilots.