The UK Royal Navy’s latest helicopter, the Wildcat, has completed its heat trials in the Middle East during training with British destroyer HMS Duncan.
During the trials, the aircraft performed flying demonstrations, testing its limits in the extreme heat of the Gulf for the first time.
HMS Duncan commanding officer commander Richard Atkinson said: "Working hand in hand with the trials team, HMS Duncan has helped push Wildcat to the very limits of its operating envelope.
"I am delighted that we’ve has contributed to the development of this potent new helicopter."
The destroyer carried out the trial in temperatures up to 45°C (113°F), in addition to the thinnest air and the strongest wind conditions, allowing the aircrafts operating limits to be tested.
The Wildcat involved in the trial was equipped with sensors and instruments to record how the engines, flight controls and tail rotor handled.
The helicopter was recently packed aboard an RAF C17 transporter and transported to Bahrain to join with HMS Duncan.
Commissioned last year and started operational deployment at sea this year, the Wildcat features a variety of upgrades and improvements compared to its predecessor.
The helicopter is capable of operating in a variety of roles, including anti-ship and anti-submarine protection, casualty evacuation, battlefield reconnaissance, and as a general utility helicopter.
Featuring a redesigned tail rotor system, the helicopter will benefit from enhanced strength and stealth.
It also has an improved cockpit with facilities, including high-tech communications, armoured seats, and full 360° colour surveillance radar.
Image: During the heat trials, the Wildcat helicopter demonstrated its capabilities in temperature up to 45°C. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.