The Fleet Air Arm’s newest helicopter has proved it can deploy with the German Navy after seven weeks’ intensive training aboard the frigate Lübeck.
A Wildcat helicopter from Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton joined a German warship throughout its pre-deployment training – the first time the Royal Navy’s newest operational helicopter has embarked with any foreign vessel.
When the German Navy’s Lynx started to suffer from problems with cracks in their tails, they looked too their allies for assistance and 815 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) offered one of its Wildcat helicopters as a replacement.
Only one of the 11-strong team of fliers and engineers was a natural linguist. The rest underwent three hours of German lessons a day for five months (‘Operation Language Barrier’) – all while the aircrew were learning to convert from the Lynx to the Wildcat – before joining the Lübeck.
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