The UK Navy’s Lynx helicopter of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Bay-class landing ship RFA Lyme Bay has fired its infra-red countermeasures, known as flares, over waters off Grand Cayman during a training flight.
This was part of a number of sorties for the flight that included a practise shoot for the sniper team, a chance to test the defensive flares, and a rehearsal of the ship’s use of smoke flame floats.
According to 234 Flight pilot lieutenant Oliver Brooksbank, the test aimed to prove that the aircraft’s systems were functioning properly prior to its scheduled deployment to the Caribbean.
Brooksbank said: "Testing our kit before entering a theatre of operations is vital – importantly it gives us the confidence to use it when necessary to complete the mission.
"Moreover it’s incredibly satisfying for the team of air engineers to see that their work has an obvious output; and that they’ve successfully prepared their aircraft for whatever the navy demands of her."
A team of ten members from 815 Naval Air Squadron are supporting the Lynx throughout Lyme Bay’s six-month deployment.
During the deployment, the helicopter will be used in the fight against trafficking in the region with duties including tracking, chasing and, if necessary, intercepting boats used by drug-runners.
In addition, it is assigned to offer assistance in disaster relief by ferrying equipment and people to hurricane-hit areas.
RFA Lyme Bay will be in the Caribbean until the end of the year, the Royal Navy stated.
Image: Royal Navy’s Lynx helicopter fires flares over waters off Grand Cayman. Photo: courtesy of UK Royal Navy.