January 2016

2016 January photoBoeing/AgustaWestland/British Army Air Corps WAH-64D/Apache AH Mk 1

In 1996, the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence ordered 67 WAH-64D Apache helicopters. In September 1998, the first WAH-64D for the British Army Air Corps was rolled out at Boeing’s Mesa, Arizona, facility. GKN Westland Helicopters, Ltd. (later AgustaWestland) received a license to complete final assembly of the WAH-64 in the UK and the 67th and final Apache was completed by AgustaWestland in July 2004. The first nine Apache AH1s (as they are now designated) were approved for service by the director of British Army Aviation in January 2001 and in May 2005, the first British Apache-equipped regiment achieved operational status. By late April 2011, British Army Air Corps’ 653 Squadron had surpassed 100,000 flight hours on the type while serving in Afghanistan. In addition to replacing the original T700-GE-701C engines with more powerful Rolls-Royce RTM 322 turboshafts, the aircraft features UK-specific countermeasures and communications systems, and airframe marinization and flotation devices that enable operations from the Royal Navy’s HMS Ocean helicopter carrier and the former Invincible class aircraft carriers. 

(Photo by Ronnie Macdonald; text by Ken Bartie)

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2016 History Calendar Index