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Daily Mail article 736 NAS

Published: 10 Aug 2014

Britain's Royal Navy has quietly recommissioned a fighter squadron to train the next generation of ‘Top Gun’ aviators who will eventually fly from the decks of its giant new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.

736 Naval Air Squadron has been back in business for almost a year. It was formed from a civilian-run operation used to help train navy ships how to defend themselves from air attacks and flies ageing but nimble Hawk T1 aircraft – the same jets flown by the RAF’s famous Red Arrows display team.

The unit has a proud history dating back to 1943 when it was established as an air combat training squadron for pilots of the Fleet Air Arm, the Royal Navy’s dedicated air force. Over the years it has operated classic navy jets including the Sea Vampire, Sea Hawk, Scimitar and Buccaneer.

In an exclusive look behind the scenes, MailOnline met the young fighter pilots at their base outside Helston, Cornwall to see how they are keeping alive the heritage of maritime fixed-wing aviation.

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