The British Army’s AH-64 Apache attack helicopters have been deployed to the Arctic as part of Exercise Clockwork held at Bardufoss in Norway.
The deployment marks the Apache’s flying debut inside the Arctic Circle, where temperatures drop to -30°C with white-out flying conditions.
The helicopters are from 656 Squadron 4 Regiment Army Air Corps (4 Regt AAC), part of Attack Helicopter Force, which is participating in the Arctic flying training exercise.
4 Regt AAC is based at Wattisham Flying Station in Suffolk and operates the Apache helicopter as part of Joint Helicopter Command.
The army regiment will provide Apaches as an aviation strike capability to the Royal Marines of 3 Commando Brigade, which is the British military’s extreme cold weather warfare specialist.
During the training, the British Apaches will fly together with the Commando Helicopter Force’s Wildcat battlefield reconnaissance helicopters.
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The training will focus on allowing the aircraft and their crew to learn how to operate together in adverse weather conditions such as in the Arctic.
In a statement, the British Army said: “Training in the Arctic builds on the Apache’s battle-winning abilities that have already been proved on combat operations in the maritime and desert environments.”
Built by Boeing, the AH-64 Apache helicopters are capable of flying close to the ground at low speeds to easily find and attack targets.
The aircraft is designed to be able to operate in all weather, day or night conditions.