The helicopter from 217 Flight (a flight from 815 Naval Air Squadron), headed up by Flight Commander Lieutenant Mike Curd, will join FLF Surcouf at her base in Toulon on Monday for a four-week training period.
In November they will then deploy on Op Atalanta for four months as part of an initiative for the UK and French Armed Forces to work together more closely.
Op Atalanta is part of the EU’s ongoing Naval effort to disrupt and deter piracy in a bid to reduce its impact on international trade, maritime security and on the economic activities and security of countries in the region.
Lt Curd and Pilot Lt Chris Southworth will be part of a team comprising of senior maintenance rating Chief Petty Officer Matthew ‘Cakey’ Eccles and seven aircraft engineers along with two Royal Marine snipers.
Their training for this deployment included a 15-week French language course earlier this year to prepare 217 for life on board the French vessel.
Lt Curd said: “To be given the opportunity to learn the language and then spend an entire deployment operating with the French Navy is fantastic and my team is very excited, not only to be contributing to counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean, but to be doing it in such unusual circumstances.”
In further support of operational preparations a delegation from 217 Flight and the Lynx Helicopter Force HQ visited Toulon in July to see the ship and meet her Commanding Officer, Capitaine de Frigate (CF) Hughes Laine.
CF Laine said: “I am very pleased to welcome 217 Flight to Surcouf and look forward to having the world renowned capability of the Lynx Mk 8 at my disposal for the deployment.”
217 Flight will be away over Christmas and New Year returning to RNAS Yeovilton in March 2013.
Photo : Bottom Row kneeling from left to right: AET Stefan Penney, AET Sam Drury, AET Matt Hughes. Stood from left to Right: AET Steve Arnold, PO Keith Armitage, Lt Chris Southworth (Flight Commander), Lt Mike Curd (Observer), CPO Matt Eccles, (Flight SMR), PO Richard Corbett
- Leonardo’s upgraded Super Lynx Makes Successful Maiden Flight
- Westwind selects L3’s Lynx NGT-9000 for the ADS-B Solution
- Sea Skua is fired for the last time from HMS Portland’s Lynx
- Royal Navy Lynx instructors awarded Trophy with support from CAE
- Leonardo to upgrade Portuguese Navy Lynxes
- British military thanks landing site owners
- AgustaWestland sold $1.3 Billion worth of helicopters to Algeria
- Vector completes last Lynx overhaul
- Babcock win large Royal Navy helicopter maintenance contract
- XPO to ship eight Lynxes from Brazil to UK
- Brazilian Lynx fleet to receive new protection suite
- Vector demonstrates flexibility in Portuguese Lynx programme
- NATO contracts CAE for maintenance of Lynx full-mission flight trainer
- 23-Feb-15 Westland Lynx Cape Town, South Africa
- L-3 Officially Launches Its Lynx® Line of ADS-B Products
- Lynx pilot gets Royal Navy wings from Prince Andrew
- Helicopter world speed record holder Trevor Egginton dies
- Algerian Navy about to receive first Super Lynx 300s
- World Record Holder receives Heritage Award
- 27-Sep-14 AgustaWestland Lynx Fryton, UK