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Royal Navy helicopter landing on Batch 2 patrol boat for first time.

| 2019

The Royal Navy has landed a helicopter on a Batch 2 offshore patrol vessel (OPV) for the first time. Smooth launch to complete the day’s aviation trials. Wildcat from 815 NAS at RNAS Yeovilton makes a sideways approach to the tiny landing pad on HMS Medway.

Royal Navy helicopter landing on patrol boat for first time 925 001 Royal Navy Lands a helicopter on offshore patrol vessel (Picture source: the Twitter account of HMS Medway)

A video shared on Twitter shows the Wildcat combat helicopter from 815 NAS in Yeovilton makes a sideways approach to the tiny landing pad on River-class OPV HMS Medway. The successful and skilful landing was followed by an equally successful take-off.

HMS Medway is a River-class offshore patrol vessel. Along with her sister's vessels, she was designed for counter-piracy, anti-smuggling, fishery protection, border patrol, counter-terrorism and maritime defence duties.

The first steel was cut on HMS Medway in June 2015, at a ceremony in Glasgow. HMS Medway was formally named at BAE's Scotstoun yard on the Clyde by Lady Fallon, wife of Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon and sponsor of Medway throughout her active life, on 20 October 2017.

She was officially welcomed into the Royal Navy with a Commissioning Ceremony at Chatham Dockyard earlier this month. She has, however, already seen active service, and shadowed a Russian Navy cruiser, Marshal Ustinov, as she sailed from the North Sea, past Dover and into the Channel.

The Batch 2 OPV programme of five state-of-the-art vessels represents a Ministry of Defence investment of £648m providing 800 jobs for Clyde shipyard BAE workers; retaining their skills whilst demonstrating new production processes vital to the production of the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 Frigates. All five Batch 2 OPV’s are to be delivered to the Royal Navy by 2021.

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