British army Apache attack helicopters in Afghanistan are the only Apaches in the country that fly with the mast-mounted Longbow radar installed -- and that is giving them a distinctive edge in the NATO-led operations against Taliban and other opposing militant forces, the commander of the unit says.
Lt.Col. Jon Bryant, commanding officer of the Apache-equipped No. 3 Regiment (Army Air Corps) at Wattisham, Suffolk, says that the Longbow radar is "extremely useful in airspace deconfliction terms."
"When on patrol, we are sharing the airspace with other Apaches, Chinooks, Lynxes, fixed-wing aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles," says Col. Bryant, who recently returned from a tour as commanding officer of Britain's Joint Helicopter Force (Afghanistan) at Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan.
Especially at night, the radar helps pilots to build up situational awareness and to prevent getting dangerously close to other aircraft during tactical maneuvers.
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