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Merlin and QE carrier
Merlin and QE carrier
Merlin and QE carrier

RN captures preview of Queen Elizabeth's future role

Published: 23 Jul 2013

Providing a glimpse into the future of carrier strike operations, a Royal Navy Merlin helicopter has been captured hovering above the new Queen Elizabeth class carrier.

Although the Merlin from 820 Naval Air Squadron at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose could not land on the ship, which is approaching the final stages of build, this Is an all-important preview of things to come. 

The two giant aircraft carriers will operate multiple aircraft, but the Merlin will be the first to be cleared for operational use, ahead of the F35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. 

Sat in the helicopter as the crew took on a bird’s eye view of the enormity of the HMS Queen Elizabeth was Captain Mark Garratt, Commanding Officer of RNAS Culdrose, Commander Chris Godwin and Cdr Andrew “Rosey” Rose. 

The three personnel had travelled to Rosyth to discuss how Merlin squadrons might integrate into QEC carriers in the future. This was the first tim e the helicopter and her crew had ever flown past the ship.


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