The last deployed Royal Navy Lynx helicopter has flown home for the final time.
Flight 208 took its place in the history books when it returned to RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset following a nine-month operational deployment on the frigate HMS Portland.
The Lynx, which was flown by Lieutenant Laura Cambrook, goes out of service on March 31 after 41 years of operations.
The helicopter was welcomed back to RNAS Yeovilton by Commander Phil Richardson, the commanding officer of the base.
‘We are delighted to welcome back 208 Flight, who have been embarked in HMS Portland for the last nine months,’ he said.
‘They have operated in every environment, from the oppressive mid-summer heat of the Arabian Gulf to the harsh conditions of the South Atlantic.
‘They have conducted lifesaving missions at extreme range, fired sea skua missiles for their continuation training and have delivered a most impressive level of aircraft serviceability of an ageing yet hugely successful airframe.
‘We welcome them home after a very successful deployment. They are the last Lynx deployed after a very successful history of Lynx helicopters being embarked and integrated within the Royal Navy’s frigates and destroyers.
‘Their success and experience will be transferred across to the Wildcat as 815 completes its transition to this new aircraft type. Welcome home 208 Flight - last of the Lynx.’
Since deploying last year, they have travelled over 40,000 miles through the North Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea and Indian, Pacific and South Atlantic oceans.
Lt Cambrook said: ‘It’s really great to be back after a very demanding but exhilarating deployment where we achieved 190 hours of flight.
‘It’s been a very successful deployment and poignant too and I will miss the Lynx. She rattles a lot, is small and agile; it’s just a great little helicopter that so many of us love to fly.
‘The Wildcat is going to take over that mantle really well in a much, much more capable aircraft.’