Prince William is set to fly a heavily armed military helicopter.

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The 26-year-old royal – who announced earlier this week he plans to become a full time pilot with the RAF search and rescue division – will take control of the powerful £25million Apache, which boasts missile launchers and chain guns.

He will fly the war machine over Salisbury, England at speeds exceeding 170mph for a series of missions.

William will have to destroy mock Taliban targets with the 16 rockets – which can be launched at an enemy five miles away – and 30mm shells which fire at a rate of 600 a minute.

A source told The Sun: “William can’t wait.”

The prince received his RAF wings from his father, Prince Charles, in April this year following an intensive pilot-training course, but officials say he is not yet ready to take control of the Apache on his own.

The 26-year-old – who is dating Kate Middleton – has been training at the Air Corps’ base in Middle Wallop since Monday, where he is learning about the role of the Army’s air support in battle zones.

He is said to be keen to eventually learn how to fly a Sea King rescue helicopter.