The Picture: WILDCAT landing trials onboard HMS IRONDUKE
The Royal Navy’s next-generation helicopter has landed in Portsmouth for three days of trials on board a Type 23 frigate. A Wildcat touched down onto the flight deck of HMS Iron Duke at the Naval Base as part of intensive tests before the fast and potent helicopter is declared operational. In just three years’ time the Wildcat will be the backbone of the Royal Navy’s frigate and destroyer operations around the globe, replacing the trusted Lynx which has served the Fleet Air Arm loyally since the mid-70s.
Next month the aircraft will begin trials at sea but not before necessary fundamental checks are carried out on board HMS Iron Duke. As well as landing on the frigate, a 31-strong test team need to ensure Wildcat can be moved in and out of the hangar using the ship’s helicopter recovery system. On-board refuelling and ammunition checks were also carried out.
(Image: Crown Copyright. Picture by LA(Phot) Gary Weatherston)