Air International 2017-02
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I.Harding - A New Era /Military/
A Wildcat HMA2 photographed flying above Chesil Beach in Dorset.
The current Lynx Wildcat Maritime Force will be become the Wildcat Maritime Force this year; the Lynx HMA8’s out of service date is scheduled for March 31,2017.
Wildcat is effectively helping reshape maintenance schedules. Serious consideration is being given to whether the Wildcat fleet requires a traditional depth maintenance profile.
A nose-mounted turret houses the L-3 Wescam MX-15Di, which produces high-resolution images for tactical surveillance, long-range target identification, laser target designation and range-finding capability.
The aim is to establish 16 Wildcat HMA2 flights by May 2017; 815 Naval Air Squadron with 12 and 825 NAS with four.
The first deployed flight of the Wildcat HMA2 on a nine-month Atlantic mission provided encouraging signs about the maturity of the aircraft and its stores support.
Full operational capability is scheduled for 2018, but initial operating capability was declared in January 2015.
Wildcat maintenance packages are blocked together at present into 25, 50,100, 200 and 300 hourly checks, unlike the Lynx, which has flexed maintenance.
Crew say flying the Wildcat is a huge step-change from the Lynx. Interfacing between the camera, radar and cockpit displays is completed with a single click.