The UK Royal Air Force has conducted live-fire training with CH-47 Chinook helicopters to assess the difficulty and accuracy of airborne weapons in Lincolnshire.

The activity focuses on evaluating and sustaining its Weapons System Operators’ skills.

Alongside the live-fire demonstrations, the team upskilled its threat response missions, such as returning fire for aircraft takeoffs and landings.

Airborne Firing Drills

The service operated twin M134 miniguns and single M60D general-purpose machine guns aboard the Chinook helicopters during the drill.

Trials involved air-to-ground engagements against purpose-built targets and beached vessels.

Soldiers firing airborne weapons aboard CH-47 Chinook helicopter. Photo: UK Royal Air Force

At night, the choppers flew to Coningsby for refueling and ammunition replenishment.

The warfighters then rehearsed a similar live-fire training at 200 feet above sea level with poor visibility using night goggles.

Royal Air Force Chinooks

The CH-47s are based in Odiham and serve as frontline support for the service’s Joint Helicopter Command.

“The Chinooks are of a variety of tasks from carrying troops and equipment to operating as a flying hospital, transporting injured service personnel from the battlefield to hospitals,” a statement from the Royal Air Force said.

Yesterday a Royal Air Force Chinook operated by a 27 Squadron crew out of RAF Odiham headed to Holbeach Ranges to conduct a Gunnery sortie. The aircraft flying as VORTEX468 lifted out of Odiham with a full complement of Air Loadmasters looking to complete vital currencies via the Annual Combat Marksmanship Test, firing the aircrafts M134 Minigun and M60D machine gun. After completing the day element of the range, the aircraft landed on at RAF Coningsby to take on fuel and have a full ammo replenishment thanks to the RAF Odiham armourers. After which she headed back out to complete the same package, but at night, with the crew utilising Night Vision Goggles. Joint Helicopter Command deploy Chinooks all across the globe in support of RAF and wider-Defence operations and exercises, completing sorties such as this ensures all of our Chinook crews are able to fly and operate the weaponry on-board whenever they are called upon.
UK Royal Air Force CH-47 Chinook for airborne gunnery training in Lincolnshire. Photo: UK Royal Air Force

“The Chinooks have recently been deployed to Estonia as part of the bilateral agreement between the Defence Ministers of Estonia and the UK.”

“Whilst in Estonia they have been supporting NATO’s enhanced forward presence in the region.”

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