in Defence

Culdrose Merlins join HMS Queen Elizabeth to support F-35 deck landings

Posted 16 August 2018 · Add Comment

Aircraft, aircrew and support personnel from 820 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) have embarked HMS Queen Elizabeth to support her forthcoming F-35B flight trials.


Courtesy Royal Navy

Extensive trials over the next four-month period will take place off the Eastern Seaboard of the United States with a view to developing the operating envelope - the parameters for safe operations - of the F-35.

820 NAS has been working with HMS Queen Elizabeth since the day she sailed, conducting the first deck landing last year and in February they embarked to support her helicopter trials.

Fresh from Exercise Joint Warrior, 820 NAS has been focusing upon the training required to operate safely on-board.

Above: 820 Naval Air Squadron.
Courtesy Royal Navy

The crews have been practising anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, Search and Rescue (SAR) and Casualty Evacuation.

Their helicopter, the versatile Merlin Mk2, is the perfect platform to deliver all these essential maritime capabilities.

The Commanding Officer of 820 NAS, Cdr Chris Knowles, who took command of the squadron in July, said: “It’s a really exciting time for 820 squadron and for me personally.

“To take command of a squadron on the brink of a career defining deployment, with great people, all of whom are keen, professional and very much looking forward to getting on with their job at sea.”

“We’ve been cycling all crews through a thorough pre-deployment training package to make sure everyone is current and qualified to go.

“Our force protection role will be key to the ship at sea, as will our SAR capability, we’re ready and able to provide whatever support Queen Elizabeth needs.”

Merlin Force Commander, Cdr Mike Currie added: “The embarkation of 820 NAS, and other members of her Air Group, represents another significant date in the development of HMS Queen Elizabeth and her capabilities.

“The Squadron’s focus since the completion of the first deck landing last year has been very much centred around the First of Class Flying Trials with F-35B.

“The Eastern Seaboard deployment represents an exciting opportunity for the Squadron’s aircrew and maintainers to fully experience life on-board this amazing Ship.

“It’s why people join the Royal Navy and I’m hugely jealous. To get to this stage the Squadron have spent time honing their skills both to meet the rigours of the embarkation and to prepare for any other emergent activity.

“This is the first of many such deployments for 820 NAS, in the longer term the Merlin Mk2 will also deliver the Crowsnest Airborne Surveillance capability to QEC.”

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

‘LiftWorks’ facility opens in Bristol

A state-of-the-art new facility making unique vertical lift technology for fighter jets has been opened by Defence Minister Stuart Andrew in Bristol.

BAE Systems eyes novel way of flying

Experts at BAE Systems are developing technologies to enable pilots to control the fighter jet of the future with the blink of an eye.

Airbus delivers first aircraft from Mobile powered by sustainable fuel blend

Airbus’ A320 Family production facility in the US. will this week deliver its first aircraft partially powered by sustainable jet fuel.

Overcoming aviation security challenges

Nitha Rachel Suresh, Cyber Security Consultant at Synopsys, considers the very real threats to aviation security and the ways and means by which these widespread security challenges can be overcome.

Logistician outlines steps for 'no deal' Brexit

An aerospace industry logistics expert has highlighted urgent practical steps businesses trading with the EU should take to minimise problems they could face after a 'no deal' Brexit.

Airbus wins ESA studies for human base in lunar orbit

The European Space Agency (ESA) has commissioned Airbus for two studies for possible European involvement in the future human base in lunar orbit.

Getac SK0409041218
See us at
AdvancedEngin BT1406011118SMIFAVSBT151118SMI GMSCBT3005081118Aviation Africa 2019