Suffolk army base comes under fire by mistake.
Image Credit: PA
On Wednesday, an Apache army helicopter let off a practice round while being taken out of the hangar. The Apache helicopter was initially in a live firing training exercise, but was later taken to the army base as it had suffered from a malfunction, forcing it to land at Sculthorpe. The pilots than took to the helicopter to Suffolk army base, where a round was fired by mistake, while it was being wheeled out of the hangar.
A source said ,
It sounded like an explosion. The soldiers dived for cover.Unidentified Source.
The American- made Apache army helicopter (AH-46) costs £20 million, and when deployed to live-fire practice or duty in war zones, it is usually equipped with hellfire missiles and exploding shells. The attack military helicopter also has a 30mm cannon, which fires bullets, longer than the average hand. Even though that practice rounds are used during live-fire training exercises, these can still be lethal. Practice rounds are usually used during such exercises since they are cheaper and non-explosive.
A soldier gets fined a month’s wages if they fire their rifle by mistake, but this is a lot more serious. The crew were supposed to have cleared all the weapons. The ammo counter said there was a round still in the canon’s chamber but they thought it was wrong so they reset it. Then suddenly it went off.Unidentified Source.
An investigation has been launched to determine the exact cause of the negligent discharge of the round. A source said that this incident is being treated as very serious, as someone could have been seriously hurt or killed.
We are aware of an incident at Wattisham Flying Station which is being investigated.Army Spokesman
The same type of military helicopter was used by Prince Harry during his second tour in Afghanistan, when his duty was as a co-pilot and a gunner.