Royal Navy Black Cats
The Royal Navy's helicopter team, the Black Cats, has recently taken on a new guise. After many years equipped with the Westland Lynx in its HAS3 and HMA8 forms, the team re-equipped for the 2015 season with the Lynx's successor, the new Wildcat HMA2 produced by Finmeccanica. This very capable maritime helicopter is a multi-role platform able to operate from the decks of the Navy's frigates and destroyers. Its tasks include anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare, ship protection, casualty evacuation, battlefield reconnaissance and utility duties. A different version of the Wildcat is also entering service with the Army Air Corps. The Black Cats team, named after naval slang for one-upmanship - 'black-catting' - started life as the Lynx Pair before adopting its current name and becoming the official Royal Navy helicopter display team. Its aircraft and crews are now drawn from 825 Naval Air Squadron at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, Somerset.