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What was one of the world’s largest planes doing in Suffolk?

PUBLISHED: 19:33 24 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:24 25 August 2018

The huge Antonov plane flew in from the USA to deliver Apache helicopters Picture: GARETH PALMER

The huge Antonov plane flew in from the USA to deliver Apache helicopters Picture: GARETH PALMER

Archant

One of the world’s largest aircraft flew into Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk this week.

The Antonov delivered three Apache attack helicopters to Wattisham on Tuesday and Friday Picture: GARETH PALMERThe Antonov delivered three Apache attack helicopters to Wattisham on Tuesday and Friday Picture: GARETH PALMER

An Antonov An-124 flew from into Wattisham on Friday August 24 and previously on Tuesday August 21, carrying three Apache helicopters and associated stores on each flight.

The helicopters were returning from Exercise Crimson Eagle, a challenging two-month exercise split between a naval and air facilities in California and Arizona.

The live-fire training is part of a course for Apache pilots and is delivered by Wattisham-based 653 Squadron Army Air Corps, teaching aircrew how to fly and fight against the deadly attack helicopter.

Attack Helicopter Force (AH Force) is based at Wattisham Flying Station in Suffolk and operates the potent Apache attack helicopter, which entered service with the British Army in 2001.

The gigantic craft unloads one of the Apaches Picture: GARETH PALMERThe gigantic craft unloads one of the Apaches Picture: GARETH PALMER

AH Force provided a continuous presence in Afghanistan from 2006 to 2014 and in 2011 formed part of the strike missions over Libya which took off from HMS Ocean as part of a NATO’s Operation. AH Force is part of Joint Helicopter Command, which brings together helicopter forces from the Royal Navy, Army and RAF.

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