According to a Tweet published by Navy Lookout on January 15, 2021, the Wildcat HMA.2 helicopter of the 815 Naval Air Squadron of the British Navy, embarked on the frigate HMS Richmond Type 23 has completed FOST (Fleet Operational Sea Training) training in sight. deployment with UK Carrier Strike Group later this year.
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A wildcat helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron embarked the frigate HMS Richmond completed FOST training for deployment with the British Carrier Strike Group later this year. (Image source Navy Lookout)
The 815 Naval Air Squadron is a squadron of the British Royal Navy, based at RNAS Yeovilton (HMS Heron) in Somerset. The squadron consists of AgustaWestland Wildcat HMA.2 helicopters and is the largest helicopter squadron in Western Europe.
The 815 Naval Air Squadron responsible for generating, deploying and supporting the flights of ships, which embark on type 23 frigates, type 45 destroyers, RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) ships and soon on aircraft carriers of the class Queen Elizabeth and providing the Maritime Interdiction (MI) Flight at an exceptionally high state of readiness, for maritime counterterrorism missions.
The AW159 Wildcat is an upgraded version of the Westland Super Lynx designed for use in the battlefield utility, search and rescue and anti-surface warfare roles. The helicopter was manufactured by AgustaWestland, an Italian helicopter design and manufacture company. In 2016 it merged with Leonardo where it became the helicopter division of the company under the Leonardo Helicopters brand.
In the British Navy, the Wildcat HMA Mk2 is used in anti-surface warfare, force protection and the fight against piracy. It will also be able to ensure an anti-submarine role. It is armed with up to 4 Sea Venom missiles as well as 20 light multirole Martlet missiles and a 12.7mm machine gun mounted on a pivot. The Sea Venom is a new generation of medium-range anti-ship missile developed for the on-board helicopters of the British and French navies.
HMS Richmond (F239) is a Type 23 frigate in service with the Royal British Navy. It was launched on April 6, 1993 and commissioned in June 1995. The vessel is equipped with a flight deck and an enclosed hangar that can accommodate a Westland Wildcat HMA2 helicopter or a Westland Merlin HM2 helicopter.