One of the UK's most potent weapon systems is on show at Finmecannica's outside exhibit, along with British Army personnel fresh from a four-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

The Army Air Corps' Apache AH1s have been in constant use in Afghanistan since mid-2006, and deliver a vital role in supporting British and coalition ground forces.

"If somebody on the ground wants support, they get it," says one of the Apache team. "This is a battle-winning capability."

RAF Apache & Pilots
 © Billypix

The personnel here welcome visitors who want to take a close look at the formidable attack helicopter. They are drawn from the AAC's 3 and 4 Regiments, home based at Wattisham airfield in Suffolk, and some have been deployed to Afghanistan up to five times now.

"Called upon daily," the Apache can bring to bear its 30mm cannon, CRV-7 unguided rockets and Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles. Its pilots' duties range from providing support during close combat operations and immediate response team casualty evacuations to escorting support helicopters and participating in so-called deliberate operations, such as the recent Operation Moshtarak.

Source: Flight Daily News