“Last Call” (1965) with HMS Bulwark and the Far East Fleet on Exercise Dark Night

Feature length documentary (61 minutes) demonstrating a Royal Navy and Royal Marines exercise in the Far East. Filmed during 1964/65 and based on Exercise ‘Dark Night.’

With 40 Commando, 42 Commando, and 845 NAS aboard the commando carrier HMS Bulwark (R08). The “Rusty B” was deployed East of Suez with the Royal Navy’s Far East Fleet throughout the 1960s and served during the Konfrontasi with Indonesia.

Also features strike carriers HMS Victorious (R38), HMS Eagle (R05), and the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21). Aircraft include the De Havilland Sea Vixen and the Blackburn Buccaneer.

Also the (new for 1964/5) County-class guided missile destroyers HMS Kent (D12) and HMS London (D16). Additional escorts include Battle-class destroyers HMS Barrosa (D68) and HMS Corruna (D97), C-class destroyer HMS Caesar (D07), Type 61 aircraft direction frigate HMS Lincoln (F99), Australian destroyer escort HMAS Derwent (DE49), New Zealand frigate HMNZS Otago (F111), and Type 15 frigate HMS Zest (F102).

Ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary include the replenishment oilers RFA Tidepool (A76), RFA Tidesurge (A98), and RFA Bayleaf (A79).

Med Patrol (1971)

‘Med Patrol’ features aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (R09), Leander class frigate HMS Galatea (F81), combat stores ship RFA Lyness (A339) and fast fleet tanker RFA Olna (A123).

Royal Navy Films (YouTube channel)

Please visit the Royal Navy Films YouTube channel. It is a collection of Royal Navy instructional films, documentaries, recruitment ads, and miscellaneous bits & pieces.

Here is a sample: Action Navy (1975), Launch & Recover (1960), and Sam Pepys Joins the Navy (1941). There are more at the YouTube channel.

Royal Navy’s newest helicopter conducts sea trials with RFA Argus

RFA Argus (A135) serves in her principal rôle as Primary Casualty Receiving Ship (PCRS). Her secondary rôle is as an Aviation Training vessel, and in this capacity she is currently conducting trials with the the Lynx Wildcat helicopters of 700W Naval Air Squadron.

Navy Wildcat joins RFA Argus at sea for trials

The Navy’s next-generation helicopter is undergoing five weeks of key trials at sea to prepare it for front-line service in just 15 months time.

A special trials version of Wildcat – replacement for the trusty Lynx which has been in service since the 1970s – has joined aviation training/casualty treatment ship RFA Argus to gather crucial data to allow the helicopter fly from large Royal Navy warships.

Wildcat will spend the bulk of its time operating from Royal Navy frigates and destroyers – just like its predecessor.

But it will also be expected to fly on and off the flight deck of larger vessels: helicopter and aircraft carriers such as HMS Ocean and Queen Elizabeth, assault ships such as HMS Bulwark, and Argus herself.

The characteristics of these bigger ships – such as the wind speed across the deck and the vessel’s motion – are entirely different, so trailblazers must set the limits at which ship and helicopter can safely operate.

Which is exactly what Argus and her trials version of Wildcat – equipped with extensive additional sensors and instrumentation – is doing for the next month in the Western Approaches and Irish Sea.

A 39-strong test team – a mix of military and civilian personnel from the helicopter’s manufacturer AgustaWestland, the Rotary Wing Test and Evaluation Squadron Boscombe Down, 700W Naval Air Squadron from RNAS Yeovilton (which is helping to introduce Wildcat to front-line service) and the Lynx Project Team – have joined Argus for the trials.

Navy Wildcat joins RFA Argus at sea for trials.

Thanks to its role as an aviation training ship over the past 30 years, Argus is well used to such trials – and the information gathered can be extrapolated to other large ships and even other aircraft types.

“The trial is a huge team effort – test pilots from AgustaWestland and from Boscombe Down are sharing the flying and assessing the degree of difficulty for each deck landing and take-off,” explains Lt Cdr Rob Dowdell, the lead test pilot the from Rotary Wing Test and Evaluation Squadron.

“Maintainers from 700W squadron are spreading and folding the Wildcat and acting as refuelling and lashing numbers, Argus’ aircraft handlers and the ship bridge and Flying Control team are providing the required deck conditions under the direction of civilian experts from QinetiQ at Boscombe Down.”

Wildcat landing on RFA Argus.

After flying, engineers from AgustaWestland are servicing the Wildcat, checking the instrumentation and preparing it for the next day’s sorties, while the firm’s stress experts are ensuring no design limitations are being encroached by analysing the masses of data collected by the trials equipment fitted to the helicopter.

Scientists from QinetiQ have also provided instruments to record the ship’s motion and wind conditions, with the data analysed by the team to ensure the tests are safe.

At the same time the ship’s company were gathering their own data, information and tips on aircraft movements and ground power supplies.

“The embarkation of the Wildcat has given the ship’s company a chance to experience the future of Naval aviation at first hand – and also to test the ships’ aviation facilities to ensure they are ‘future-proof’,” said Lt Cdr Mo Morris, the Argus’ Senior Naval Officer.

Lt Cdr Dowdell added: “The ship’s crew have provided all the essential support to allow Argus to be deployed from anywhere from north of Scotland to the Canary Isles to ensure the correct meteorological conditions are achieved.

“Finding the right weather for testing is crucial with the perfect mix of wind speed, temperature, air pressure and sea state being critical to gathering the right quality data that will allow future global Wildcat deployments.”

The trials are due to finish on November 7, after which a comprehensive report will be compiled documenting all the new limitations and lessons learned.

The Navy’s next-generation helicopter is undergoing five weeks of key trials at sea to prepare it for front-line service in just 15 months time.

http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/News-and-Events/Latest-News/2013/October/18/131018-Wildcat-Trials

HMS Illustrious, RFA Fort Victoria, RFA Fort Austin conduct RAS during Cougar ’13

Three Royal Navy ships take part in a Replenishment at Sea or RAS. From left RFA Fort Austin, RFA Fort Victoria and HMS Illustrious are pictured transferring stores and fuel. Photographer: PO(Phot) Ray Jones.

VIDEO: Frigate (1973)

New Heavy Replenishment at Sea (HRAS) Rig at HMS Raleigh

Sneak peek of full article that will be in November’s Navy News.

The New Heavy Replenishment at Sea (HRAS) Rig at HMS Raleigh, currently undergoing trials with Rolls Royce.

HRAS rig. (Image Dave Sheffield/ HMS RALEIGH)

A container begins its 40-second journey across 55 metres of ‘sea’ to a mock up of the reception area on HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The facility will be used to train RFA, RN and foreign navies in the art of replenishment as well as the fundamentals of seamanship.