Defence Helicopter

Merlin helicopters train on HMS Queen Elizabeth

31st January 2020 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Trainees from 824 Naval Air Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm are undertaking a month-long deployment on HMS Queen Elizabeth in the North Sea for aviation training.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently conducting training with F-35 Lightning jets embarked off the eastern seaboard of the UK.

The Merlin Mk2 helicopter pilots, weapons operators, navigators and aircrewmen will train in real conditions on the carrier’s flight deck, completing deck landings/take offs and vertical resupply. 

Training will also incorporate simulated attacks posed by surface and underwater threats to enable crew to practice working safely on a busy flight deck alongside fast jets.

Commander Martin Russell, 824 Squadron’s Commanding Officer, said: ‘Our students are trained to hunt submarines in the Merlin Mk2, and the culmination of this training is to do this by day and night from a ship.

‘To conduct that training in HMS Queen Elizabeth is both an excellent opportunity and an honour. The ship's company of the future flagship have been very welcoming – and we have already achieved a good amount of flying.’

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