An Apache Attack Helicopter belonging to 656 Sqn Army Air Corps has made its debut landing aboard the 60,000-tonne flagship of the Royal Navy - HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Under Joint Helicopter Command, the Attack Helicopter will begin a series of tests and evaluations in what is known as the Platform Ship Integration Testing or PSITs for short.
Over a three-day period, the Apache will be assessed for its compatibility with the ship’s operating systems – how it’s manoeuvred around the flight deck and in the cavernous hangars below, maintenance and arming, testing on the giant lifts which bring the aircraft up on deck, along with a host of other tests.
Once the PSITs have been successfully negotiated in Portsmouth, HMS Queen Elizabeth will take to sea with Apache aboard for its sea trials in July where it will conduct landings and take-offs from a pitching and rolling deck.
Only on completion of this,. will the Apaches be officially certified to be able to operate from both HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, when she becomes operational.