On 3 June 2021, three Army Air Corps (AAC) Apache AH1 attack helicopters embarked the HMS Prince of Wales (HMSPWLS) for exercises in the coming weeks.
The three Apaches are operated by the AAC's dedicated maritime unit 656 Squadron, 4 Regiment AAC, and are supported by 100 personnel from Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk.
The training with the HMS Prince of Wales (R09) will include qualifying new pilots in the art of deck landings and take offs, but also ensure that ground crew from both the Army Air Corps and Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers can perform their aircraft handling and maintenance roles at sea.
HMS Prince of Wales is the second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier. The carrier is designed to operate V/STOL aircraft; the ship can carry up to forty F-35B Lightning IIs and Merlin helicopters for airborne early warning and anti-submarine warfare, although in surge conditions the class is capable of supporting 70+ F-35Bs. The design emphasises flexibility, with accommodation for 250 Royal Marines and the ability to support them with attack helicopters and troop transports up to and larger than Chinook size.
Photo: Royal Navy via twitter (@NavyLookout)