Wildcat Lands aboard HMS Ocean for the First Time
The Royal Navy’s commando carrier HMS Ocean operated the Navy’s latest attack helicopter, the Wildcat, for the first time.
The Wildcat which entered service last year at a commissioning ceremony held at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset, landed on the Plymouth-based ship during a major exercise.
The Royal Navy’s first Wildcat began its operational deployment at sea this year and, after extensive trials, the chance finally arose for HMS Ocean’s air crew to see the aircraft at close quarters during Exercise Joint Warrior in the North Sea.
Leading Airman Ryan Lawson, one of HMS Ocean’s leading aircraft handlers and marshaller, was one of the first to bring the Wildcat onboard.
Replacing the Lynx helicopter, the Wildcat has many improvements, making it a significantly more capable aircraft.
It has a redesigned tail rotor system improving the strength and stealth of the aircraft whilst the aircrew benefit from the improved state-of-the-art cockpit with high tech communications, crash worthy-armoured seats and full 360 degree colour surveillance radar.
The Wildcat, like its predecessor can be used in a variety of roles including anti-ship and anti-submarine protection, casualty evacuation, battlefield reconnaissance and as a general utility helicopter.
Image: Royal Navy