Westland WAH-64D Apache AH1 (ZJ181) from the Army Air Corps (British Army) at the RIAT 2019, RAF Fairford (United Kingdom)
For well over a decade, the spearhead of Army Air Corps striking power has been the Apache AH1, built for British service by what is now Leonardo Helicopters at Yeovil. This mighty 'tank-killing' attack helicopter, which won its United States Army spurs in the first Gulf War, has seen extensive Army Air Corps use in combat theatres, specifically Afghanistan and Libya. Its main armament comprises 2.75-inch (70 mm) CRV-7 rockets, Hellfire missiles (of which it can carry up to 16), and the 30mm M230 chain gun, the latter directed by the pilot's helmet. The variant is easily distinguished by the Longbow fire control radar mounted atop the rotor head. Apaches from two operational regiments based at Wattisham in Suffolk form part of 16 Air Assault Brigade, a potent 'rapid response' unit that combines the employment of airborne forces and attack helicopters.
The AgustaWestland Apache is a licence-built version of the Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter for the British Army Air Corps.
The first eight helicopters were built by Boeing; the remaining 59 were assembled by Westland Helicopters (now part of Leonardo) at Yeovil, Somerset in England from Boeing-supplied kits. Changes from the AH-64D include Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322 engines, a new electronic defensive aids suite and a folding blade mechanism allowing the British version to operate from ships. The helicopter was initially designated WAH-64 by Westland Helicopters and was later given the designation Apache AH Mk 1 (also written as "Apache AH1") by the Ministry of Defence.
The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world's largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July,
usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.
The show typically attracts a total of 150.000 to 160.000 spectators over the weekend.