Britain withdraws Eurofighters and Apaches from Libyan operations

Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox has announced that four Typhoons and three Apache helicopters are to be withdrawn from the Libya operation.

Welcoming the announcement by NATO that the mission was continuing for another 90 days, Dr Fox said “good progress” in the operation means some of the aircraft can be brought home.

“The UK has been at the forefront of the campaign since the outset and as the Prime Minister has made clear throughout, the UK will maintain its commitment for as long as it is required. Our support for the people of Libya at this critical time is unwavering and NATO’s mission to protect civilians must continue until it is no longer necessary.”

The Apache fully exploits the vertical dimension of the battlefield. Aggressive terrain flight techniques allow the commander to rapidly place the ATKHB at the decisive place at the optimum time. Typically, the area of operations for Apache is the entire corps or divisional sector. Attack helicopters move across the battlefield at speeds in excess of 3 kilometers per minute. Although dependent on mission, enemy, terrain, troops, time available, and civilian (METT-TC) considerations, typical planning airspeeds are 100-120 knots (185-222 km/hr) during daylight, and 80-100 knots (148-185 km/hr) at night. Speeds during marginal weather are reduced with respect to prevailing conditions.

Eurofighter’s high performance is matched by excellent all round vision and by sophisticated attack, identification and defence systems which include the ECR 90 long range radar and Infra Red Search and Track (IRST) system, advanced medium and short range air-to-air missiles and a comprehensive electronic warfare suite to enhance weapon system effectiveness and survivability. Eurofighter Typhoon is intentionally aerodynamically unstable to provide extremely high levels of agility, reduced drag and enhanced lift.

“We have decided to keep 16 Tornado aircraft on operations to sustain the required fast jet sortie rate and we intend to keep two Attack Helicopters in Theatre for as long as required,” Dr Fox added.

Source: British Force News

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