THE ROYAL Navy helicopter squadron dedicated to HMS Queen Elizabeth has been practicing ahead of the carrier’s arrival into Portsmouth.
820 Naval Air Squadron, based at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in Cornwall, is a fleet of Merlin Mk2 helicopters attached to the nation’s future flagship.
Lieutenant Rob Andrews, one of the squadron’s pilots, said: ‘This is the first time I have had the chance to both see and operate with the ship and it is still very exciting and hugely rewarding.
‘820 NAS has been working with HMS Queen Elizabeth in support of her contractor sea trials.
‘This has seen us operate as a helicopter delivery platform providing essential stores and crew work-up ahead of our more operational role when she is formally commissioned into the fleet.’
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon announced on Monday that Britain’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is set to enter her new home in Portsmouth in around a week’s time – with the window of arrival between August 17 and 22.