The first Wildcat Attack Helicopter to be delivered to the Royal Navy has taken its first flight at Yeovil in Somerset.
The Wildcats is equipped with a high tech interactive display and a new radar system that provides 360 degree surveillance.
Wildcat HMA Mk2 will carry Sting Ray torpedoes, a door-mounted 0.5 inch heavy machine gun and new light and heavy variants of the Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon Missiles.
It will perform a range of tasks once in-service such as for anti-surface warfare, force protection and counter-piracy. It will also be able to carry out an anti-submarine role.
The Ministry of Defence signed a £250m contract with AgustaWestland last year to provide support and training for the Royal Navy and British Army’s 62 strong fleet of Wildcat Helicopters. The Royal Navy will receive 28 maritime attack variant helicopters, which will begin operations across the globe from 2015 and replace the existing Lynx Mark 8. The contract is sustaining 500 skilled jobs in the Somerset area.