The first ever Aviation Brigade in the British Army has formed up, according to the MoD.

The British Army say in a release that combining the advanced reconnaissance capabilities of the Wildcat helicopter of 1st Regiment Army Air Corps (AAC), together with the attack firepower of the Apache helicopter used by 3rd and 4th Regiment AAC, 1st Aviation Brigade is designed to unite the resources previously split between the Aviation Reconnaissance Force and the Attack Helicopter Force, and as a Brigade is a capability distinct from previous airmobile and air assault brigades.

“As well as the tasks conducted by 5th Regiment AAC and their Gazelle helicopters, the reservists of 6th Regiment AAC and the specialist aviation mechanical engineers of 7th Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers complete the lineup of Brigade units. The environment in which the British Army and our allies are now operating in is changing and continues to evolve – at pace. The new world sees our adversaries engaging in operations that requires our soldiers to operate across a broad spectrum of operations implemented to protect our homeland, all whilst persistently engaging and constraining our adversaries abroad.

As the way of the military evolves, it places a focus on what combat aviation needs to be prepared for. To meet such challenges 1st Aviation Brigade will generate a Combat Aviation Force in order to deploy on operations, which will possess the capacity to concurrently plan, execute and sustain multiple aviation manoeuvres, and scale up and down in size and power as required.”

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The 1st Aviation Brigade flash is a pair of red Griffin Wings on a background horizontally halved on the colours of the Army Air Corps, say the British Army.

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Rob
Rob
4 months ago

Just a proviso on this story; it isn’t new capability but rather a reassignment of present assets. If we ever had to send out a reinforced division perhaps, just perhaps the aviation Bde would go but in most defence scenarios the 1st Aviation Bde would go out as penny packet assets assigned to other Bde HQs. Consequently the ‘new’ Bde is more of an administrative formation.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 months ago

Gabriele announced this as a long overdue development on his UKAFC blog back at the start of April. Gave pretty indepth detail.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Yep. This is old news now, still good of George to put an article up though.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 months ago

Of course not the old news angle on this, Daniele. Just that Gabriele’s input was so early and extensive for anyone intrigued for good background. I’m mostly maritime in outlook, but his blog is one of only two that I rely on for extensive land-centric input, not always in total accord, mind. Those are more rarely posted, hence the reference; as much because they do deal in such depth, naturally. The other is UK Land Power, which has just given a fine insight to Strike and it’s original intended harmony with armoured infantry battalions. Again, nothing new to you, I… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Morning George. Agree with you
Gabs blog and UKDJ are the only 2 sites I use daily.
Gabriele goes in depth which I appreciate.
And he’s not even a Brit.

Fantastic.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

I also recommend, if you do Twitter, following UKAFC on there. As you say, his posts being so in depth they are rare, and have got more so since earlier days. His Twitter updates are daily and provide good updates or pointers for further study.

Cheers George.

Dern
Dern
4 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Ah shame, I stopped reading Gabriel around the time he started to turn into a frothing at the mouth Europhobe.

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
4 months ago

I didn’t realise that the UK still operated Gazelles. Turns out their life has been extended till 2025. It’ll be interesting to see if there is a like for like replacement.

Cam
Cam
4 months ago

They are the longest ever serving platform I believe. And are great in the roles they do, not many today though and they will need replacing, but what with?

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
4 months ago
Reply to  Cam

UAVs probably for the frontline jobs. There was talk for a while of using the gubbins from Fire-scout to convert old Gazelles into uavs but that seems to have died a death.

John Clark
John Clark
4 months ago
Reply to  Cam

They have given great service, what’s needed is a buy of an off the shelf type, perhaps a batch of Lakotas from US Army production would fit the bill.

RobW
RobW
4 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Sorry George / Cam, I pressed the ‘flag’ button on Cam’s post by mistake and can’t untick it.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
4 months ago

H145M- light reconnaissance and attack helicopter would fit the bill- slightly bigger than gazelle but able to deploy a few troops and carrier a bigger payload.

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
4 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Or the AW109 but I think we all know that in this day and age , the MOD are more likely to say the Wildcat will have to fill in the gaps and then when that doesn’t work, just do without.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
4 months ago

The wildcat is actually a decent replacement for the Gazelle. What is needed is an off the shelf replacement for the lynx in the transport role such as the AW139. As for the Gazelle role in BATUS I’d personally suggest a small order of HC135.

Steve
Steve
4 months ago

It seems likely that the apache’s will need to be assigned onto the carriers, to cover up the slow buy rate of the f35, now that it has been exposed again post the US threatening to pulling out of filling the hole for us.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I don’t think the US will do that, the Marine Corps is already very keen on the deployment as it highlights the concept of the lightning carrier and how marine corps aviation can support a full sized carrier deployment.
I think the US congress are unlikely to follow through on a few members bluster to pull the deployment.

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
4 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The US Marine Corps is undergoing a mission transformation under its new Commandant and plans to reduce the size of its F-35 squadrons from 16 to 10, a 37.5% reduction. That will be accomplished through a reduction in the number of F-35s to be purchased. The enthusiasm to deploy the remaining F-35Bs on UK carriers will fall by the wayside.

Steve Taylor
Steve Taylor
4 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

Your last sentence, that’s something I have pondered on too.

I still think in a large operation I think QE would still soak up USMC F35b leaving the LHx hangars and flight decks for CV22 / CH53 to have a bit more room.

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve Taylor

Normally i would agree that the US wouldn’t follow through, but under the current administration i fear they may.

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Can hardly blame them. I don’t know of any defence savvy commentators who think the Huawei 5G deal is a good idea.

Steve
Steve
4 months ago

Defense commentators are not telco security experts, so their opinion isn’t really worth a lot more than mine or yours and i know very little about telco security. We know GCHQ did a review of the risks and they believe it is containable. What we don’t know is the full details of the report, it could easily have been caveated to the nth degree and politicians are taking what they want to read from it. But on the face of it its secure. We also know that most of the pressure from the US is also not coming from the… Read more »

Herodotus
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Yes Steve, your last paragraph hits the nail on the head. Watch out for the up and coming trade deal…..just how many strings will be attached?

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Whilst i hope it is fake news, i heard that one of the leaks from the trade deals was that the UK people would not be allowed to know the details of the deal until 5 years after it came into effect, effectively to ensure it was too late to unwind it. Would be shocking if the UK gov accepted that.

Herodotus
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I would expect Starmer (and back-bench farming lobby MPs) to be on that immediately…..if true, they can’t be allowed to get away with that one. I wonder if the inevitable enquiry into the government handling of coronavirus will be published before the next election….somehow I think not!

Bill
Bill
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Big changes ongoing with the USMC. I think when push comes to shove we will have USMC F35’s on the QE next year, otherwise forget about a Far East deployment. This only highlights the utterly ridiculous procurement rate the UK agreed to as a tier one partner.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
4 months ago

Not a subject I’m familiar with, but would these not be a worthwhile acquisition if we don’t have them already or something similar?

https://www.janes.com/article/96103/bundeswehr-receives-fuchs-kai-eod-vehicles

john
john
4 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

We could do with fuchs alongside boxer Ithink.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
4 months ago
Reply to  john

Thank you John,

Germany appears to be upping its game at the moment.

https://www.janes.com/article/96123/bundeswehr-issues-revised-rfp-to-tlvs-jv

Trevor
Trevor
4 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Are they??

Is so it’s about time.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
4 months ago
Reply to  Trevor
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
4 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins
Trevor
Trevor
4 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Good news. with both. (Not least for Austrian truck makers & workers.)
We have just ordered 13 frigates. Just got in service(ish) 2 carriers.
Going back less than 2 years, less than 33% of German military equipment was operational – has it improved. It’s game needs to be upped !

On a wider level – FT article in July 2019 – German infrastructure is crumbling. Buildings, bridges schools, digital infrastructure. It seems Germany is incapable of implementing the rebuilding necessary.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  john

We have had Fuchs for years. The Joint CBRN Regiment used them, now Falcon Squadron in 28 RE, in the reformed CBRN role.

john
john
4 months ago

Thanks didn’t know that.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  john

Yes, but not many mind! 8 ? Or something. They were gifted to us for GW1.

john
john
4 months ago

Gifted !! good god and here is me thinking about hundreds to go to A1 and A2 to boost our resupply. Oh well another dream.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  john

Fraid so John. Old vehicle now, have the Germans built new versions? No idea.

Herodotus
4 months ago

Well Fuch me Danielle….I didn’t know that either 🙂

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Morning H. Very good. 😀

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
4 months ago

I wonder if we can expect to see the same approach adopted here in the UK?

“New Marine Corps Cuts Will Slash All Tanks, Many Heavy Weapons As Focus Shifts to Lighter, Littoral Forces”

https://news.usni.org/2020/03/23/new-marine-corps-cuts-will-slash-all-tanks-many-heavy-weapons-as-focus-shifts-to-lighter-littoral-forces