After 49 years of good and loyal service, the Army Air Corps said goodbye on October 31 to its last Gazelle AH1 light helicopters. Initially designed for reconnaissance, anti-tank or light transport missions, this helicopter became a real Swiss Army knife for the British Forces during the Falklands War. Its robustness, agility and multi-mission capacity have made it a helicopter highly appreciated by ground troops.
A deserved retirement
Following the signing of the Anglo-French Helicopter Agreement in 1967, the British Armed Forces ordered several batches of SA 341 light helicopters, in different versions. On July 6, 1974, the first examples entered service with the Army Air Corps (AAC), the air component of the British Land Force (British Army). After a little more than 49 years and despite a planned retirement in 2012, these helicopters completed their last hours of service on October 31, 2023. A final farewell tour was organized on October 23 by the AAC, mobilizing for the Used three Gazelle AH1 (Army Helicopter 1).