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The Ministry of Defence announces first Navy Wildcat makes maiden flight

Monday, Jan 28, 2013

The first Wildcat Attack Helicopter to be delivered to the Royal Navy has successfully taken its first flight at Yeovil in Somerset, the MoD announced today (Monday).

Pictures show the new helicopter’s inaugural flight. The Wildcat has 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.

Wildcat HMA Mk2 will carry Sting Ray torpedoes, a door-mounted 0.5 inch heavy machine gun and new light and heavy variants of the Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon Missiles.

Expected to perform a range of tasks once in-service, the Maritime Wildcat Attack Helicopter will be used in anti-surface warfare, force protection and counter-piracy. It will also be able to carry out an anti-submarine role.

The Ministry of Defence signed a £250m contract with AgustaWestland last year to provide support and training for the Royal Navy and British Army’s 62 strong fleet of Wildcat Helicopters. The Royal Navy will receive 28 maritime attack variant helicopters, which will begin operations across the globe from 2015 and replace the existing Lynx Mark 8. The contract is sustaining 500 skilled jobs in the Somerset area.

Source: The Ministry of Defence

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