Prince Harry May Soon Fly Helicopters in Afghanistan

Britain's Prince Harry could soon be back on the front line against the Taliban, this time as the pilot of an attack helicopter in Afghanistan.

The 25-year-old prince has been training for more than a year to become a pilot with the British Army Air Corps, and will learn by May if he has been selected to fly, and potentially return to Afghanistan.

Flying a military helicopter has been described as the most likely way the Prince would return to combat. A decision on which kind of aircraft he should specialize in is said to be imminent.

A Ministry of Defense spokesman said, "Lt. Harry Wales could fly Apache or Lynx helicopters if he successfully completes the Army Pilots Course and is awarded his wings. Which aircraft he flies will depend on his progress during the course, the manning requirements of the Army Air Corps and, to some extent, his preferences."

The Prince has reportedly said he would prefer to fly the new Lynx helicopter.

The Lynx 9A helicopter has a two-man crew who are both trained as pilots in case one is killed or wounded in action and two Rolls-Royce engines which give it a top speed of 200 miles per hour. It can carry a 20mm cannon as well as 7.62mm machine guns, mini-guns and Hellfire ground-to-surface missiles.

Prince Harry spent 10 weeks in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008, acting as a forward air controller and, despite the security concerns, has made it clear he would like to return to active duty. After returning home, he decided to switch to training as a chopper pilot with the Army Air Corps.

A decision on which aircraft he will fly will not be made until the prince finishes the Operational Training Phase in May. If he were to deploy to Afghanistan, he would then require further training.

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