The Black Duke's eyes, ears – and claws
A ROYAL Naval helicopter flight is proving itself as the long-range eyes, ears and claws of warship HMS Monmouth on maritime policing patrol.
The Devonport-based warship, known as the Black Duke is currently on patrol in the Middle East deterring smugglers and pirates.
And it is being given an advantage over the criminals by flying an armed helicopter known as the Black Knight.
The Lynx maritime attack helicopter of 215 flight from 815 Naval Air Squadron is armed by a Royal Marines sniper team.
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The Royal naval helicopter flight is embarked for the deployment and consists of a small group of aircrew and engineers lead by the Flight Commander and Observer Lieutenant Ed Barham.
His team consists of pilot Lieutenant Rob Dixon and an engineering team of eight technicians, all keeping the aircraft ready for flying.
Lt Dixon said: "Frequent training in all our roles is essential in order to be ready for any tasking that may emerge.
"Flying the only single pilot helicopter in the Royal Navy is a job all pilots on 815 Naval Air Squadron are rightly proud of.
"In this hot environment it becomes an even greater challenge to get the most out of the aircraft."