4 Regiment Army Air Corps have been flying with their French counterparts in the Alps.

In their own words, the Army Air Corps use Army aircraft, such as the Apache attack helicopter, to deliver “hard-hitting and effective support to ground forces during the key stages of battle”.

The AAC’s role also includes reconnaissance. From high above the action, they observe enemy forces and pass information to troops on the ground.

The UK is also procuring the upgraded AH-64E variant of the Apache, you can read more about that here.

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Just wondering when the naming culture of the US Army regards Helicopters (Apache, Black Hawk, Kiowa, Lakota, Comanche) will be targeted by the woke brigade’s social justice warriors under the banner of cultural appropriation, to that end I dread to think what these champions of free speech (and free tampons) would deem as appropriate


Such a nice man?

Daniele Mandelli

Well they took offense at Geronimo being used for the Bin Laden raid, so.


When the leftist Dems take control. Hopefully that will never happen.


Great machines these, I’m glad to see that we are continuing to invest in them. I’d be interested to learn about any proposed successors to this and wonder too if a suitably modified Apache might be of use at sea.


Nicholas wrote:
“I’d be interested to learn about any proposed successors to this and wonder too if a suitably modified Apache might be of use at sea.”

Reading the comments to the above tweet, I came across this picture:



All new Apache have been marinised to some extent

Glass Half Full

There may be a specific replacement for Apache in future under the US Future Vertical Lift program. However, in the short term the very high priority focus of that program is on the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) and the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA). The capabilities of these two aircraft are likely to be significantly longer range, higher speed and longer endurance than conventional helicopters. Their avionics are likely to be a sea change over current systems too. Both of these aircraft may be armed and capable of attack roles, but their primary roles are Scout and Medium Lift… Read more »


Thank you.

Daniele Mandelli

We’ve debated Wildcat for the army so often here. British product yes, but what a cost – 1 billion plus for 34 machines. The extra SF versions never materialized either. Meanwhile we could have got many more Blackhawks for a fraction of the price and the army could have got proper lift. I recall 300 million? Does the army actually want a recc helicopter when you have the sensors on Apache and UAVs? I know about the politics concerning the RAF and helicopter sizes. Home build – keeps people in work, all good. MoD pays the price again. There needs… Read more »

Glass Half Full

I agree that we have to be more circumspect about which UK defence industries get investment, especially if it costs the forces’ capability and numbers. In general I am a strong proponent for UK aerospace as a high value industry in terms of taxable revenue, intellectual property development, exports and quality jobs. The Tempest program for high end, fixed wing, manned, optionally manned and UAV capabilities with a lot of technology spin-off makes sense in this context. I am not seeing that for the UK’s rotary wing capability out of Leonardo, not even in terms of significant Wildcat exports that… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Daniele Mandelli

So low is coming back in fashion, so low it would probably hit you unless you duck.

Glass Half Full

To quote out of context Robin Williams, “lower than a snake’s ass in a wagon rut” low perhaps 😉

Daniele Mandelli

Thanks as always GHF.


On a tangent regarding the arming of helicopters, I understand that there is a cost associated with arming anything, but brushing that aside for the sake of debate….Would our forces enjoy more flexibility if we tended towards arming as many of our types of vehicles and vessels rather than, it sees to me, not arming as a point of principle. Is it time to dismiss the fear of the overlapping capability?

Glass Half Full

I tend to push back against some of the uparming arguments, especially on naval platforms. However, it does seem to make sense to expand arming on our army helicopter fleet, especially if we go down the FARA/FLRAA path and also our vehicle fleets, specifically Boxer. Not just with weapons like CTA40 but also mortars, ATGM and perhaps ground launched Brimstone. Even if we end up keeping all our different variants of armed tracked vehicles after the upcoming review, albeit in lower updated/modernized numbers, we do need a more mobile and rapidly deployable wheeled capability IMV. In the dispersed battlefield of… Read more »


I know that the AW609 maybe isn’t the right size for military applications, and we may be wanting to avoid the complicated tilt rotor concept entirely, but Leonardo are at least looking into the technology. Surely other European countries are considering the need for these aircraft too, the market can’tsimply be the US and UK?!

Glass Half Full

I don’t think the UK is necessarily looking to avoid tilt rotor, at least in the form of the Bell V-280 Valor where the blades tilt but the engines don’t, assuming that wins the US FLRAA competition. The UK have already signed an agreement with the US expressing interest in the FLRAA and FARA programs. The AW609 uses technology licensed from Bell where the engines tilt as well as the rotors, i.e. similar to V-22. Unless it changes, Leonardo are only licensed for commercial applications that stretch to surveillance but not military applications. So they can’t directly offer a FLRAA… Read more »


We need a much broader base of defence manufacturers right across the board. Enough to produce some healthy competition. But they would need to get work to support employment and skills. If we approached this in the same way we approach HS2 (I pass no comments on the appropriateness of HS2), briefly put the cost to the Treasury is minimal overall due to feedback and economic stimulation, cost to the nation will be less of an issue. What would need to be factored in for day to day, year to year budgets would be the cost of maintaining the new… Read more »


Chinook like – Fairey Rotodyne for one. That could do COD, refuel etc.


Hi Daniele, I’m afraid I’m not all that up on Wildcat and the helicopter size politics that you mention. Why was it so exensive, and why was such a relatively large and expensive helicopter selected for battlefield reconaissance? I get what you mean about domestic build vs international purchase, I’d always try and go for domestic where posible, but our budget is small. Until we get a better way of running acquisition programmes and realising/recognising the economic benefits of domestic producation on the balance sheet, we’ll be hobbled compared to the US and other Euro countries (don’t let anyone tell… Read more »

Glass Half Full

AW149 while fine for what it is, is a legacy platform compared to FLRAA and to a future 30-40 year lifetime. UK govt. already made the point that they didn’t want to buy into a legacy platform earlier this year in a House of Commons meeting discussing UK rotary wing strategy. To illustrate: V-280 cruise speed 280kn, AW149 max cruise speed 155kn; V-280 combat range 500-800 nmi, AW149 max range 517nmi.

Leonardo doesn’t have a license from Bell to use their tilt-rotor technology for military aircraft.

John Clark

Excellent idea GHF, I fully agree, an idea I’ve considered for a while now.

The Wildcats have limited utility to the Army and in reality were forced upon them as a politically driven procurement.

With little chance of more Merlin for the Navy, transfer of the Army Wildcats and conversion of some to HMA2 makes a ton of sense.

The H145M makes for a much more useful Army asset.


i wonder if this has anything to do with Operation Barkhane preparation? No AAC slated to go but that could change i suppose

Jason Holmes

UK in that theatre are non combat roled, I guess an AH64 would go against the mission

Nigel Collins

My brother’s son in law is taking part, he pilots the Apache. I wonder if he is in the photos?

Nigel Collins