Video: view Prince Harry will see from an Apache
THIS FOOTAGE, taken from an Apache helicopter involved in Operation Ellamy - the codename for the United Kingdom’s involvement in Libya in 2011 - gives an insight into the operations that Prince Harry can expect to be involved in during his four-month deployment in Afghanistan as an Apache gunner.
Prince Harry will be operating in an Apache AH Mk 1 (normally referred to as an Apache AH1), an AgustaWestland-built version of Boeing’s AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter. Running on Rolls-Royce engines, with improved electronic defences, modifications made to the aircraft allow it to operate from ships.
Primarily used in close air support in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, the AH1s were heavily involved in Operation Eagle’s Eye in 2008, a large part of ahich involved night-time helicopter raids in a bid to disrupt Taliban activities.
The AH1s have also been used to escort ground troops and air force, as well as respond to enemy forces on the ground. As a result, the helicopters have become a primary target for insurgents.
AH1 Apache helicopters are manned by two crew members - one pilot and one gunner - and are heavily equipped with weaponry, including an M230 Chain Gun, capable of firing 1156 rounds; Hellfire missiles (although Stinger, Starstreak and Sidewinder/Sidearm versions have also been proposed); CRV7 Rockets with Flechette, known as Tungsten darts, or High-Explosive Incendiary Semi-Armour Piercing (HEISAP) warheads.
Standing at 3.87 metres high and measuring 17.7 metres, the AH1 can travel at speeds of up to 182mph, with a cruising speed of 161mph. The aircraft is capable of flying at heights of up to 21,000 ft (6,400 metres) and has a range of 334 miles.
Prince Harry, or Captain Wales as he will be referred to, was previously employed on the ground, as a Forward Air Controller, calling in airstrikes against enemy targets. He is expected to take part in combat missions against the Taliban, although he will not have direct contact with any members of the Afghan National Security Forces. He will, however, take part in missions supporting them.
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