Slings and arrows for Apache

The Army’s new multimillion-pound fleet of Apache attack helicopters are unable to fire their anti-tank missiles without fear of causing serious damage to the aircraft.

The Army’s new multimillion-pound fleet of Apache attack helicopters are unable to fire their anti-tank missiles without fear of causing serious damage to the aircraft, the UK government admitted this week.

Leaked documents said that debris ejected when the Longbow Apache WAH-64 tankbuster fires a Hellfire missile is in danger of hitting the tail rotor on the left-hand side of the aircraft.

The problem was identified in the US where pilots were ordered to fire the missiles from the right-hand side only.

The MoD said this week that it hoped the problem could be resolved.

The fleet of 67 Apaches are being built by Westland Helicopters in Yeovil, Somerset, at a cost of £27m each.

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