A Royal Navy Merlin Mk 2 helicopter from 814 Naval Air Squadron – ‘The Flying Tigers’ – has spent a weekend on show to the German public at the annual Kiel Week, after a multinational exercise in the Baltic.
Embarked in HMS Ocean for Exercise Baltic Operations 2016 (BALTOPS), the Grey Maritime Merlin has proved itself; “a seriously capable aircraft,” said Lieutenant Max White.
“Our core job is to hunt submarines, but the versatility of Merlin means that there aren’t many jobs we can’t be tasked to do.”
Alongside other UK helicopters which included green Junglie Merlins from 845 NAS and Apaches attack helicopters from the Army Air Corps as well as Chinooks from the RAF; the Culdrose Merlin opened their doors as part of HMS Ocean’s ship open to visitors programme.
Lieutenant Sid Shaw, ‘the Flying Tigers’ Detachment Commander said: “Our Merlin Mk 2 is naturally at home at sea on HMS Ocean. We have achieved a very good high rate of success throughout BALTOPS 16; in fact we’ve clocked many more hours than planned.”
Lieutenant Sid Shaw and his team will stay with HMS Ocean for her next exercise, where they will joined by the remainder of 814 NAS.
The squadron will practise their submarine hunting skills ready for operations with the Royal Navy’s future aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.