A major investigation has been launched after a British Army helicopter misfired while grounded. The Apache helicopter was reportedly grounded at Wattisham Flying Station after it faced malfunction during a training exercise. Before it could get repaired, the rotorcraft fired a round on Wednesday, November 4. The unplanned discharge took place close to homes and farms in Suffolk. However, there have been no reports of any injuries or damages. An investigation into the incident is currently taking place.

The Apache helicopter was engaged in a live firing exercise, codenamed Grey Eagle, when the initial malfunction occurred. The chopper failed to fire while practising over Sculthorpe. Following the malfunction, the pilots decided to land the craft and report the issue. They landed in Sculthorpe range in Norfolk. After disarming at the range, the helicopter was flown to the base in Wattisham, in Suffolk.

Earlier this week, the helicopter was being worked on for repairs at the Wattisham Flying Station after being kept there overnight. The apache can be armed with a 30mm automatic cannon, wing-mounted 70mm rockets and Hellfire missiles. It managed to fire a round of the 30mm automatic cannon while still grounded.

According to Sky News, the discharge occurred while the chopper was being wheeled out of the hangar. The Sun specialist weapons technicians were working on the craft when the round was fired. Sources claim that the soldiers on the base had to dive for cover when the cannon discharged with a loud explosion.

Since the incident, an investigation has been launched to figure out how the helicopter misfired and why it was still armed. A search team also combed the fields near the base to try and retrieve the ammunition that was fired by the cannon. As of Friday, November 6, the bullet remained missing.

A source pointed out that the round fired was a practice round. Even though practice rounds are less deadly than the armour piercing rounds, they can still cause substantial damage on impact. The search for the bullet and the investigation into the incident continues.

Apache gunship
The Apache attack helicopter misfired a round after malfunctioning at a base in Suffolk. (representational image) ALI YUSSEF/AFP/Getty Images