The Sea King ASaC7’s distinctive large grey radome ‘bucket’ houses the Thales UK Searchwater 2000 radar.
During their five-year Afghan deployment, No.854 and No.857 NAS completed more than 2,000 sorties flying in excess of 9,000 hours to ensure coalition objectives were achieved.
Ground crew worked a three-month, 12-hour on/off watch system inside a temporary hangar at Camp Bastion where temperatures often reached 50°C.
A most recent arrival back home following its Afghanistan deployment was XV714/188 which had both its Carson main composite blades and five- rather than six-bladed tail rotor. It also needed a good wash.
Below deck on board RFA Argus ground crew prepare XV656 for flight deck operations.
Heat impacted the mission system's instruments during Operation Herrick so more time was spent maintaining them and cleaning the aircraft to reduce dust contamination.
The ASaC7’s upgraded Rolls Royce engines and running take-offs ensured the aircraft performed to its potential on deployment.
During the exercise’s second week, the squadron worked with other surface ships going through their Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) force generation and participated in the 'Thursday War’, integrating with other Culdrose units and USAFE F-15s.
The Thales UK Searchwater 2000 AEW radar fitted as part of the Cerberus mission system, with No.857 NAS Commanding Officer Lt Cdr James Hall.
Ground and aircrews must train hard to avoid the hazards that go along with the embarked maritime environment - here, flight deck operators confirm XV707 is detached from the flight deck and awaiting flight air control clearance.
The SKASaC Observer Full Mission Trainer (FMT) at Culdrose, which replicates all aspects of an Observer's mission and environment with the exception of forward motion.