The new Wildcat helicopter has landed on the navy’s helicopter carrier HMS Ocean for the first time during Exercise Joint Warrior in the North Sea.
The helicopter was commissioned last year at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset and underwent extensive trials before starting operational deployment at sea this year. Designed to replace the Lynx, the Wildcat is a significantly more capable aircraft.
It carries a new strengthened and stealthy tail rotor system, armoured seats and a full 360 degree colour surveillance radar – all designed to help it perform in a variety of roles from anti-ship and anti-submarine protection, casualty evacuation and battlefield reconnaissance.
Royal Navy leading airman Ryan Lawson said:
“The Wildcat had a unique appearance compared to other Lynx aircraft that we are used to seeing. I personally feel privileged and honoured to say that I was one of the very first people to marshal the next generation of naval aircraft onto the flight deck of HMS Ocean.”
The helicopter is capable of operating in a variety of roles, including anti-ship and anti-submarine protection, casualty evacuation, battlefield reconnaissance, and as a general utility helicopter.