The video shows a British Army Apache AH Mk1 from 673 Squadron Army AIr Corps conducting confined areas flying practice. The video includes commentary by the handling pilot as he manoeuvres the aircraft around the confined area. The Apache helicopter lowers into an area surrounded by trees and shrubs. Confined areas training allows Army pilots to operate helicopters in spaces that are constrained by terrain or the presence of obstructions, either natural or manmade. 673 Squadron AAC are part of 7 Regiment AAC based at Middle Wallop, Hampshire, they provide Conversion to Type (CTT) training for both experienced and newly qualified pilots in the Army AIr Corps.
The UK currently operates a modified version of the Apache Longbow; initially called the Westland WAH-64 Apache, it is designated the Apache AH1 by the British Army. Westland built 67 WAH-64 Apaches under license from Boeing, following a competition between the Eurocopter Tiger and the Apache for the British Army’s new Attack Helicopter in 1995. Important deviations made by AgustaWestland from the U.S. Apache variants include changing to more powerful Rolls-Royce engines, and the addition of a folding blade assembly for use on naval ships.
On 11 July 2016, the UK Ministry of Defence confirmed a $2.3 billion order for 50 AH-64Es to be built in Mesa, Arizona. The purchase is via a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement with the US government. Leonardo Helicopters in the UK is to maintain the current fleet of Apaches until 2023â€“2024, with a long-term plan for Leonardo and other UK companies to “do most of the work” on the new fleet. The deal includes an initial support contract for maintenance of the new helicopters, along with spare parts and training simulators for UK pilots. The first UK helicopters are due off the US production line in early 2020 and will begin entering service with the British Army in 2022. “To further guarantee value for money, systems from the current Apache fleet, such as the Modernised Target Acquisition & Designation System, and the Longbow Fire Control Radar, will be reused and incorporated into the new helicopters where possible.” Approval for the re-manufacture of fifty of the UK’s WAH-64 Mk 1 fleet to AH-64E Apache Guardian standard had been given by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency in August 2015. The aircraft will utilise the General Electric T700 engine rather than the Turbomeca RTM322 from the current fleet; the first off-the-shelf purchase of a GE engine by the UK MOD.