HMS Queen Elizabeth: Apache helicopter lands on Royal Navy carrier for the first time

An Apache helicopter has landed on HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time as part of three days of trials.

Tuesday, 4th June 2019, 10:21 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th June 2019, 10:21 am

The team on the Royal Navy carrier have been working with the gunship to practice some of the routines needed to support Army Air Corps helicopters on operations.

HMS Queen Elizabeth has already worked with RN Merlin, Wildcats and RAF Chinooks to help prepare the crew for missions.

The first helicopter, which has previously operated from HMS Illustrious and HMS Ocean, landed on the 65,000-tonne carrier yesterday morning.

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It flew in from Wattisham in Suffolk and was safely guided onto the deck by leading Aircraft Handler Sion Rose.

Over the next couple of days the team will train in various tasks including stowing the gunship securely, carry out maintenance, refuelling the helicopter, the safe handling and loading of weapons and ammunition.

The training will help prepare the crew before 656 Squadron embarks on the Portsmouth-based warship later this year.

A Boeing AH-64 Apache from the British Army Air Corps has landed onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time. Picture: MoD

Yesterday it was confirmed that HMS Queen Elizabeth will deploy late in the summer for the eastern seaboard of the US, including a port visit to the Washington DC area.

She will be making a number of port calls while deployed before heading back to Portsmouth in time for Christmas.

Her sister carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, is expected to dock for the first time in Portsmouth Harbour later this year.

Picture: MoD
Picture: MoD