Army Apache Gunship Joins HMS Queen Elizabeth For Trials

The Apache gunship is undergoing three days of tests with HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The Apache follows Royal Navy and RAF helicopters in working with the aircraft carrier (Picture: Royal Navy).

The Army's 'flying tank' has joined Britain's biggest warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, for three days of trials.

The aircraft carrier's crew is working with the Apache to practise some of the routines needed to support the Army Air Corps helicopters on operations.

The trials involve various tasks from the basics of stowing the gunship securely to carrying out maintenance, refueling the helicopter, the safe handling and loading of weapons and ammunition.

It aims to help pave the way for 656 Squadron embarking on the Portsmouth-based warship later this year.

The gunship touched down on the nation’s new class of carriers on Monday, flying in from Wattisham in Suffolk and guided on to the sprawling flight deck.

Apache gunship onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth (Picture: Royal Navy).

Apache operated sporadically from the decks of HMS Illustrious and HMS Ocean - including conducting air strikes at targets in Libya during the civil war of 2011.

It was announced last year that HMS Queen Elizabeth is expected to be joined by a Dutch warship during her first deployment in 2021.

The aircraft carrier will sail to the east coast of the US later this year, as it continues to prepare for full operations.

It will then return home to the UK before Christmas.