First test bombs dropped from HMS Queen Elizabeth’s F-35s

October 18, 2018 – The first bombs have been dropped from F-35 Lightning fighter jets conducting trials on board Britain’s newest aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. The inert GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided precision bombs were dropped off the east coast of the USA, marking another significant milestone in the carrier’s trials. Adding the 500lb bombs to the jets for take-off has enabled the trials teams to see how the jets behave when carrying various weights, gathering crucial test data. It is the first time the American-made bombs have ever…

Read More

F-35 pilot makes history with revolutionary method of landing jets on HMS Queen Elizabeth

October 15, 2018 – A revolutionary method of landing an F-35 Lightning fighter jet on a ship has been carried out for the first time on board the UK’s newest aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. British test pilot Peter Wilson made history when he conducted the first ever shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL) this weekend – a method which looks like a conventional aircraft landing but requires even more intense skill and precision. Previously the jets have conducted only vertical landings, hovering by the side of the ship before moving…

Read More

Royal Marines squadron marks 50 years of commando support

October 3, 2018 -The ‘flying eyes’ of the Royal Marines past and present gathered in Yeovilton to celebrate 50 years of keeping the commandos at least one step ahead of their foes on the battlefield. 3 Commando Brigade Air Squadron – which today has morphed into 847 Naval Air Squadron – started life as an aerial reconnaissance unit, but over its varied lifespan (five helicopter types in five decades) has conducted battlefield scouting, overwatch for convoys, tank busting outside Basra, fire support direction and casualty evacuation. 3 BAS – as…

Read More

Final flight of the Sea King

September 26, 2018 – After almost 50 years of active operations, the last military Sea King helicopters flying in the United Kingdom, left RNAS Culdrose for retirement today. Aircrew from 849 Naval Air Squadron will then fly them to HMS Sultan for disposal. The fourth aircraft will travel by road. The helicopters will refuel at RNAS Yeovilton and then fly over Westlands where the Sea King helicopters were made, and the various Naval establishments in the Portsmouth area. [smartslider3 slider=94] This very special aircraft has played a vital role in…

Read More

HMS Queen Elizabeth sets off for F-35B fighter jet trials

August 18, 2018 – Royal Navy aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, departs her home port of Portsmouth today, bound for the USA to land fast jets on deck for the very first time. Eight years since a British aircraft carrier last flew a fast jet from her decks, the 65,000-tonne carrier will embark two F-35B test aircraft, from the Integrated Test Force (ITF), based out of Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. Around 200 supporting staff, including pilots, engineers, maintainers and data analysts will be joined by two ‘orange wired’…

Read More

HMS Montrose shadows Russian warships through English Channel

The Royal Navy’s HMS Montrose shadowed two Russian warships in the approaches to the English Channel after they ventured out of the Baltic. The Plymouth-based Type 23 frigate sailed up the Channel to meet with corvettes RFS Boikiy and Stoikiy as the Russian vessels sortied from their base in the Baltic and entered the North Sea. HMS Montrose worked alongside the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to track the two vessels as they manoeuvred in some of the most congested waters in the world. Montrose met the pair – both Steregushchiy-class…

Read More

Red Arrows to headline RAF100 tribute at Yeovilton Air Day

Smoke on! The world-class Red Arrows will lead the Royal Air Force’s centenary involvement at this year’s RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day on Saturday 7 July. The RAF has had the Red Arrows as its official aerobatic team for over half its lifespan. Flying their nine red-painted BAe Hawk T1 jet trainers, 2018’s Red Arrows are led by a new ‘Red 1’, Squadron Leader Martin Pert. The team’s all-action routine is sure to be an Air Day highlight once more, peaking with the Synchro Pair’s breath-taking crossing maneuvers. Joining the…

Read More

Thunder inbound to RNAS Yeovilton Air Day in July

Making its Air Day debut, Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton is hugely excited to announce the Hellenic Air Force F-16 Demo Team ‘Zeus’ will participate in the flying display on Saturday 7 July. Flying the state-of-the-art F-16C Block 52+, the team is named after the ancient Greek sky and thunder god. Established in late 2009, the demo team has made just two previous UK visits. Its stunningly-painted F-16 performs a striking solo display, flown this year by Major Loukas Theocharopoulos. Further contributions come from the Czech Air Force with their…

Read More

HMS Duncan deploys to Mediterranean and Gulf

Royal Navy warship HMS Duncan today deployed to the Mediterranean to take over as flagship to a major NATO task group. The Type 45 destroyer left Portsmouth Naval Base this morning to resume the role after a three-month stint in charge last year. HMS Duncan will conduct defense engagement activities alongside the UK’s NATO partners and will lead Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 through a series of high-profile exercises. [smartslider3 slider=54] On completion of this task, Duncan will then sail to the Persian Gulf to take up the UK’s standing…

Read More

HMS Example conducts training exercise at sea with Wildcat helicopter

Royal Navy fast patrol boat HMS Example recently took members from Northumbrian University Royal Naval Unit (NURNU) and representatives of the Reserve Forces & Cadets Association (RFCA) to sea. HMS Example sailed from HMS Calliope, the Newcastle RNR base, and down the River Tyne to the North Sea. After an hour of flat, calm river transit, Example started to feel the low, long swell of the North Sea as she approached the breakwaters near Tynemouth. Past the breakwater and well acquainted with a cheeky easterly swell, the ship eagerly awaited…

Read More

RN Helicopters Survey Damage Caused by Hurricane Maria

Naval aviators were airborne at dawn 21 September for the first overall look at the damage caused on the British Virgin Islands by Hurricane Maria. The storm, which hit the British territory yesterday, was the second Category Five hurricane to strike in a fortnight. The archipelago was hit head-on by Irma and her winds of over 150 mph. Maria skirted the islands, which were still subjected to winds in excess of 60mph and torrential rain falling at the rate of an inch in three hours at its worst. When the…

Read More