Royal Navy's first Wildcat helicopter completes first flight at RNAS Yeovilton
The Royal Navy’s first Wildcat attack helicopter has been put through its paces in the Westcountry.
The lithe, powerful aircraft successfully undertook its maiden flight at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset.
Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, welcomed the Wildcat to the service.
“The new maritime Wildcat attack helicopter is an excellent addition to the Royal Navy’s arsenal, providing it with greater firepower and a range of technological enhancements,” he said.
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The Wildcat is due to replace the Lynx and features a more powerful engine allowing it to be flown in extreme conditions all year round. It is also equipped with a more robust fuselage, a high-tech interactive display and a new radar system that provides 360-degree surveillance.
The MoD signed a £250 million contract with AgustaWestland last year to provide support and training for the Royal Navy and British Army’s 62-strong fleet of Wildcat helicopters. Navy will receive 28 maritime attack variant helicopters, which will begin operations in 2015.