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Unlike sniping in general, heli-sniping concerns the ability to hit what you're shooting at rather than spending days crawling around the bondu, eating maggots and shitting in your bergen. Unsurprisingly, camouflage and concealment take something of a back seat, as tooling around in a helicopter is far from subtle.

Heli-sniping was a US idea and one that caught on due to its unique flexibility, i.e. the ability to be slightly more selective than simply letting loose with mini-guns and Hellfires - a pleasant departure from the standard US tactic of obliterating the target.

Heli-sniping is a particularly useful asset when it comes to anti-drug and counter-piracy operations, where a well-placed round through a motor launch's engine block can pretty much stop things dead in the water. Along with gratuitous nudity and Naked Rollmat Fighting, the Royal Marines are masters of the art of shooting from a moving helicopter.


And then in 2012, someone had a great idea. 2012 saw London hosting the Olympic Games and that was the perfect opportunity for the largely point and role-less RAF Regiment to blag their way in on the act. It was a PR disaster and was derided by almost everyone apart from the gay community.


Apologies were made, careers ruined and much back-pedalling ensued. Though the Olympics were a success, RAF heli-sniping wasn't - though its advocates point out that a lack of terrorist outrage underlined its very success.