Wildcat helicopter unleashes new missile to protect aircraft carriers

Royal Navy helicopter crews have proved their ability to protect the U.K.’s aircraft carriers with a new missile system.

As sailors and marines support the current national fight against Covid-19, the Yeovilton-based Wildcat Maritime Force, which includes 815 Naval Air Squadron, is focused on ensuring the U.K. is prepared for future global threats.

The Wildcat HMA Mk2 helicopter flies with the Martlet missiles during trials. Royal Navy Photo
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Blasting from a Wildcat helicopter, the new Martlet missile was tested the week of May 18 on a range off the coast of Wales.

In 0.3 seconds, the missile detached from the Wildcat HMA Mk2 helicopter, accelerating to one-and-a-half times the speed of sound.

The trials mark an important milestone in the testing of the new system which will arm the Wildcat helicopters that deploy as part of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s maiden operational deployment next year.

Blasting from a Wildcat helicopter, the new Martlet missile was tested on a range off the coast of Wales. Royal Navy Photo
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Commander Matt Boulind, Royal Navy, the Wildcat Maritime Force Commander, said: “This test firing shows the Wildcat helicopter will be ready to help defend our Queen Elizabeth-class carriers and their strike groups for years to come.

“The Royal Navy and Army introduced Wildcat helicopters into service five years ago and the firing of the Martlet this week is a very significant milestone and represents a huge success for the joint industry and MoD team.

“This firing underpins future Royal Navy offensive capability and the defence of the surface fleet.”

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