The newest helicopter in the Royal Navy’s arsenal came through its toughest test yet as it spent a fortnight taking part in Europe’s biggest naval war games.
The AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat – which will provide the aerial eyes and punch of the Royal Navy’s frigates and destroyers for the next quarter of a century – joined HMS Dragon on Exercise Joint Warrior. It is the first time the helicopter – normally based at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset with 700W Naval Air Squadron – has spent such a concerted time at sea, and the first time it has taken part in the exercise aboard a ship.
From next year, Wildcat will start to replace the Lynx as the mainstay of aerial operations by the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates and Type 45 destroyers, superseding a helicopter which in various variants has served the Fleet Air Arm with distinction for 40 years.
For the complete story by Marcus Denby of the Western Daily Press, click here.
Photo via Western Daily Press