Lynx helicopter

The UK Royal Navy’s AgustaWestland Lynx HMA MK 8 helicopter has successfully completed first landing trials onboard the fifth Type 45 Daring-class anti-air warfare destroyer, HMS Defender (D36).

Trials were conducted as part of HMS Defender’s initial period of training under the White Ensign off the south coast, aimed towards operational declaration with the Royal Navy early next year.

Defender’s deputy logistics officer sub lieutenant Dan Drew said: "Preparing for an aircraft to land onto a warship is a task, which involves everyone aboard."

The day-long trial validated HMS Defender’s capability to support Lynx helicopter launch and recover operations, as well as refuelling capability in challenging conditions at sea.

"From the obvious things, like planning and executing these operations, to the less obvious such as painstakingly checking the upper deck for debris, which could be harmful to the helicopter, everyone plays a part in increasing Defender’s capabilities that little bit further," Drew added.

"Preparing for an aircraft to land onto a warship is a task, which involves everyone aboard."

Armed with Stingray torpedoes, the Lynx Mk 8 is also equipped with a Sea Owl thermal imager and the Seaspray Mk 1 radar in the modified chin radome.

Equipped with Sea Viper missile system, which is capable of defending against multiple attacks by sophisticated anti-ship missiles, the newest £1bn Type 45-class destroyer has a displacement capacity of about 8,000t with a cruising speed of more than 27k and a range of at least 7,000nm.

In addition to providing air defence, anti-missile capabilities, HMS Defender can conduct anti-piracy and anti-smuggling missions, disaster-relief work and surveillance operations, as well as high-intensity combat.

The sixth Type 45 destroyer, HMS Duncan, launched in 2010, has recently completed initial sea trials off western Scotland, UK, successfully demonstrating its combat systems capability.

Image: A Lynx helicopter performing landing trials onboard HMS Daring. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.