Aviation News

June 5, 2011

NATO Launches First Attack Helicopter Missions in Libya

More articles by »
Written by: BNO News
Tags: , , , , ,

NATO forces on early Saturday morning began using attack helicopters for the first time during military operations over Libya, the multinational force said.

US Army Apache helicopter over Iraq

US Army Apache helicopter over Iraq. (Photo by US Army)

Rumors had been circulating for several weeks that NATO would begin using attack helicopters to assist fighter jets and missiles being fired from off the Libyan coast. The attack helicopters aim to increase the pressure on the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The targets struck by attack helicopters on Saturday morning included military vehicles, military equipment, and fielded forces. “This successful engagement demonstrates the unique capabilities brought to bear by attack helicopters,” said Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, Commander of NATO’s Operation Unified Protector. “We will continue to use these assets whenever and wherever needed, using the same precision as we do in all of our missions.”

The British Ministry of Defense confirmed that its Apache helicopters, flying from HMS Ocean, participated in the attacks. “The mission was carefully coordinated with other allied air missions by NATO’s air operations center, based at Poggio in Italy, under Operation Unified Protector, and in particular was planned alongside an operation by French helicopters from the assault ship Tonnerre,” said Major General Nick Pope, the UK’s Chief of Defense Staff’s Strategic Communications Officer.

Pope said the Apache helicopters were tasked with precision strikes against a Gaddafi regime radar installation and a military checkpoint, both located near the Libyan city of Brega. “Hellfire missiles and 30mm cannon were used to destroy the targets; the helicopters then returned safely to HMS Ocean,” he said.

In the same area, UK Royal Air Force ground attack aircraft also destroyed another military installation, whilst a separate RAF mission successfully attacked two ammunition bunkers at the large Waddan depot in central Libya.

The use of attack helicopters provides the NATO operation with additional flexibility to track and engage pro-Gaddafi forces, who are accused of deliberately targeting civilians and attempt to hide in populated areas.



About the Author

BNO News





 
 

 

PHOTOS: The Grand Canyon Onboard The Maverick Experience

In Las Vegas, everything is larger than life, and that includes Maverick Helicopters' sightseeing business. It's more than just a tour there, it's an experience.
by Michael Lothrop
1

 
 

Are There Really 11 Missing Aircraft in Libya Threatening a 9/11 Repeat?

An anonymous US government official says 11 aircraft are missing from Libya and threatening a repeat 9/11 attack. Are they a threat? Are they even missing?
by Phil Derner Jr.
6

 

 
6 Supermarine Spitfires in flight.

Myanmar Spitfire Hunter Still Optimistic Despite Negative Reports

An archaeologist searching for dozens of Spitfires said to be buried in Myanmar is playing down doubts about the existence of the trove.
by AFP
0

 
 
Wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 in Lockerbie, Scotland. (Photo by AP)

Pan Am Flight 103 Is Bombed: December 21st In Aviation History

Pan Am Flight 103 is bombed over Scotland, New York Airways begins helicopter flights from Manhattan's Pan Am Building and more...
by NYCAviation Staff

 
 
Robinson R44 Raven helicopter similar to the accident aircraft. (Photo by Arpingstone via wikimedia)

Helicopter Missing Near Moscow Was Carrying Infamous Businessman

A helicopter carrying at least 3 people, including notorious Russian businessman Fedor Tsarev, went missing Sunday.
by BNO News
0