UK Royal Navy tests Wildcat multi role helicopters in Norway

13 March 2016 (Last Updated March 13th, 2016 18:30)

The UK Royal Navy's Wildcat multi role helicopter has completed its trials during Exercise Clockwork training in Norway.

Navy

The UK Royal Navy's Wildcat multi role helicopter has completed its trials during Exercise Clockwork training in Norway.

During the trials, four Wildcats from 847 Naval Air Squadron performed flying demonstrations in the harsh climatic conditions for the first time.

The helicopters carried out the trial for six weeks in temperatures as low as 30 below zero, in snow storms and high winds.

“Our flying rate has been high and we've achieved a lot more than just qualifying to operate in the Arctic environment.”

The navy's Commando Helicopter Force tests its aircraft, air and ground crew every winter at Bardufoss, located 170 miles inside the Arctic Circle.

The fliers conducted a range of military operations, including the basics of landing in snow, scouting for the troops on the ground, shooting practise for the aircrewman with the machine-gun, and using the Wildcat to direct allied jets on to targets.

The squadron made use of the facilities at the Norwegian Air Force base in Bardufoss, working alongside NH-90 and Bell 412 helicopters, while the UK showed off their helicopter to their hosts.

847 commanding officer commander Graeme Spence said: "Wildcat has met the challenge head-on, as have our people. Our flying rate has been high and we've achieved a lot more than just qualifying to operate in the Arctic environment.

"Norway's always been a special place for the Commando Helicopter Force, and we've made the most of the opportunities to test ourselves and our aircraft."

The Exercise Clockwork training ensures sailors and Royal Marines on the force can survive in unforgiving environment, as well as maintain their helicopters and, in the case of the aircrew, fly them.


Image: Wildcat helicopters carried out the trial for six weeks in harshest climatic conditions. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.