Ocean boosts Royal Navy’s firepower

An Apache helicopter from HMS Ocean fires at sea for the first time.
An Apache helicopter from HMS Ocean fires at sea for the first time.
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SUNDERLAND’S adopted warship has hosted the first Apache helicopters firing missiles at sea.

Royal Navy helicopter carrier HMS Ocean – which was awarded Freedom of the City status in 2004 – helped prove the capability of the attack helicopter to operate and strike from the sea.

HMS Ocean

HMS Ocean

The Apaches successfully fired 30mm cannon and Hellfire missiles against seaborne targets, in a long-planned exercise near Gibraltar, while based on the warship.

Commanding officer Captain Andrew Betton said: “HMS Ocean is the UK’s only dedicated amphibious helicopter carrier, and it is fitting that we provided the platform from which the Army Air Corps have made history.”