The British Army say their Apache attack helicopters have fired Hellfire missiles inside the Arctic circle for the first time.

According to a release, facing temperatures dropping to -30°C and white-out flying conditions, 656 Squadron 4 Regiment Army Air Corps is training in the far north of Norway.

Together with RAF Chinook and Royal Navy Wildcat helicopters, the Squadron is preparing for Exercise Cold Response in March, which involves 14,000 troops from 10 nations to test the ability of NATO forces to operate together in the Arctic.

For 656 Sqn, the deployment has been focused on proving its warfighting ability after the Apache made its Arctic debut in early 2019, say the British Army.

Officer Commanding Major Huw Raikes said:

“Last year the Squadron learnt how to operate the Apache in the Arctic. The extreme cold presents unique differences to how we normally conduct our business but we have developed ways to overcome the human, engineering and flying challenges. This year we have established new and innovative ways to fight the aircraft. This has relied immensely on the support of the Royal Navy’s Commando Helicopter Force, who have a long experience of operating in the Arctic that has been generously shared.

Firing Hellfire missiles for the first time is a significant milestone in proving the capability of the aircraft in this environment; it’s an achievement that everyone in the Squadron has contributed to and can be rightly proud of. We’re now looking forward to flying in support of the Royal Marines and our NATO partners on Exercise Cold Response.”

The Hellfire is a precision missile used to strike ground and maritime targets; the Apache is able to carry up to 16 missiles.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Gavin Gordon

Mild interest; I wonder why Hellfire rather than Brimstone.


Probably because they already go with the Apaches systems ect


What’s an ect?


As far as I know Brimestone has not been cleared as yet for the Apache.


Seems a bit odd that our main anti-tank weapon has not been cleared for our main anti tank platform.


If Brimstone is to be integrated on Apache, it will be once they’re upgraded to the AH-64E Guardian standard. It was tested on a Guardian test platform in the US and it would make sense to wait until the helicopters have been rebuilt before starting integration.

Bloke down the pub

That’s my understanding of the situation. While we have stocks of Hellfire, it’s sensible to use them.

Gavin Gordon

I believe it has

Gavin Gordon

Oh, maybe that’s it


I’m sure I’ve seen it fired from an Apache on forces YouTube Chanel. Does brimstone have a silver mirror radar dome type thing at the front behind a Perspex type dome?


Ok that was hellfire, I thought they were smaller rocket type misssiles these things are big.


Stop the war against Santa and his elves.


Are the rocket pods with 38 rockets, is it 19 each side? Are they any good and will we keep them on our new Apaches. I’ve seen one turn a man to dust and chunks in Iraq, but against something more than Iraqi flesh are they any good, are there upgrades, anti armour anti personnel ect ect


The Hellfire has two types of warhead HEAT and MAC which is fragmentation.
As for the rocket pods, in the escort role the max that an Apache can carry is 76 four pods of 19.


Have to say this is one of the best assets we have and we desperately need more of them. Given where we are with funding, I think its time to make some tough decisions and Apache have shown themselves to be high capable, in demand assets wherever our forces operate. Where demand is greater than supply surely we should address the supply and balance it. 144 Apaches should be our minimum force, even if that means giving up some other capability such as our heavy armour. Clearly it would be great to have enough volume of all key capabilities, but… Read more »

Andrew ardron

Your missing the fact that against a peer enemy with real Air Force the apache would be no use by NATO own study.


I think quite a lot of what we have now will be next to useless in a on peer engagement. My key point is that they exceptionally lethal and can survive against a peer as well as most things and I see them as part of a strike brigade that is loaded with AAD, 155m howitzers and mortars all on the boxer platform. At the end of the day its about what we will use and as long as we have the ability to build tanks and a design (lets say we use the boxer factory and invest in tooling)… Read more »

Andrew ardron

Good to see patriotism not dead and gone.
Cos we will lose? WTF


Patriotism has nothing to do with it. Realistically we are a small nation with limited land mass and resources. Our “Peers” have more of everything available to them. A peer on peer war is about attrition more than anything else and I am sure our key military bases will be removed from the picture within days of such a conflict. I prefer not to fight a peer by offering MAD, surely if we fail then all of us have lost.. If you review my numerous posts on this site, I think you will find I want our troops to have… Read more »

Paul T

It’s a cliche but when you go to War you do so with whatever you have to hand at the time.Look at the resources Turkey is pouring into Northern Syria, last week in Vehicles alone it was 5000 plus.Im not sure if we have that capability at the moment.


Paul T that is ultimately the point I am making, we need to decide what we do and don’t do. I would rather have a smaller (all Boxer) Army than the dysfunctional one we have now that is pretending to be something it clearly no longer is. Likewise, if the Northern flank and GAP is our key area of influence, then we need to up our forces and assets to do that and leave our European allies to sort out tanks etc. I would actually keep Warrior and Challenger as is, because as you say you go with what you’ve… Read more »