UK: Apache Destroys Libyan Boats


Two boats used by Colonel Gaddafi’s special forces were blown out of the water and an anti-aircraft battery destroyed by Apache gunships operating from HMS Ocean.

In the latest action involving the Army Air Corps helicopters aboard Britain’s biggest warship, the Apaches were scrambled to intercept high-speed boats closing in on the besieged port of Misrata.

Pro-Government forces have made repeated attempts to disrupt shipping making for the rebel-held city, chiefly by attempting to lay mines in its approaches – attempts so far thwarted by NATO’s equally-determined efforts to keep the port open.

An Allied warship on patrol in the western Gulf of Sirte detected the boats moving quickly towards Misrata and Ocean was alerted.

The Apaches found the craft, destroying two using their 30mm cannon.

The helicopters then closed in on a ZSU-23-4 Shilka – a light-armoured radar-guided anti-aircraft vehicle – near Zlitan, 30 miles up the coast from Misrata. It too was eliminated.

After initially striking Government targets around Brega in eastern Libya, helicopter carrier Ocean has shifted to the western shores of Sirte to maintain the pressure on the Gaddafi regime.

In addition to the latest attack against the speedboats, Ocean’s Apaches were also dispatched to destroy a Government communications installation and multiple rocket launcher around Misrata.

Aside from Ocean, Britain has committed the core of the Cougar 11 task group to the UN-sanctioned mission off Libya, including flagship HMS Albion, escorting frigate HMS Sutherland, tanker RFA Wave Knight and support ship RFA Fort Rosalie.

In addition, HMS Liverpool and minehunter HMS Brocklesby – soon to be replaced by HMS Bangor – remain on station off the Libyan coast and a Trafalgar-class submarine armed with cruise missile is within striking distance of the troubled North African country.

Since the start of military operations to enforce the UN Security Council Resolution, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Army Air Corps personnel have now successfully attacked more than 430 regime targets involved in Colonel Gaddafi’s persecution of the civilian populace.
Source: royalnavy, June 15, 2011