750 Naval Air Squadron has reached 10,000 flying hours teaching aviation weapons specialists in the skies above Cornwall, say the Royal Navy.
The training involves the use of simulated contacts/targets generated by computer systems installed in the Avenger aircraft (pictured above), as well as real ships and aircraft – everything from fishing boats and merchant vessels in the Channel to British and foreign warships training off Plymouth – to hone their skills according to a release.
Once they’ve completed the 16-week course, students move on to Merlin and Wildcat helicopters to learn the specific mission systems.
According to a press release:
“As part of the UK Military Flying Training System – the partnership between the armed forces and industry to deliver aviation instruction – 750 also trains Merlin aircrewmen, who help Observers battle submarines, and RAF Weapon System Operators (WSOps – pronounced ‘wizzops’), the air force’s counterpart of Fleet Air Arm Observers.
As the King Air Avengers pass the 10,000-hour mark – that’s over 416 days in the skies – they have also started training WSOps for the new P8 maritime patrol aircraft which enter service with the RAF shortly and plug the gap left by the demise of the Nimrod.”
Since taking the first students in 2012, more than 100 men and women have passed out of 750 Squadron.