Helicopter Missile In First UK Test

The first live firings of the Hellfire missile in the UK have been carried out by Apache helicopters carrying out training on board the Portsmouth-based warship HMS Illustrious.


Two Apaches from 656 Squadron Army Air Corps fired one Hellfire missile each at a training target that was positioned by HMS Illustrious in the sea off northern Scotland where the ship is taking part in the multinational Exercise Joint Warrior.

The weapon, which has only previously been used in combat by British forces in Afghanistan and Libya, was fired for the first time in UK waters.

The firings also allowed the crew of HMS Illustrious to practise safely delivering the missiles from the ship's weapon magazines to the helicopters on the flight deck.

Captain Martin Connell, commanding officer of the Portsmouth-based helicopter carrier, said:

''The Hellfire missile firings conducted from HMS Illustrious once again proved, as HMS Ocean did so effectively last year off Libya, that the potent combination of Apache helicopter and Hellfire missile can be successfully delivered by a UK warship at sea.''

Major Piers Lewis, who commands 656 Squadron, said: ''The Army Air Corp's Apache crews are comfortable operating in all environments and this has once again demonstrated our ability to fire Hellfire from sea having launched from HMS Illustrious.

''The Army Air Corps and Squadron forged excellent links with HMS Ocean last year - and are now forging similarly strong links with Illustrious.''

Hellfire missile being loaded onto Apache


Apache helicopters


Apache helicopters


Apache helicopter

Recently Played Tracks

On Radio: Sian Welby

12am - 1am

Email the show

Text 'HEART' to 82122

Sian Welby

Stay tuned...

Watch heart TV

  • Now playing: The best feel good music

Heart VIP


Autumn Weather

Find your local four day weather report here.

Listening To Radio Win With Heart

Make Heart the soundtrack to your day and you could be a winner with great prizes up for grabs throughout the day.

Follow Heart on Twitter