united kingdom Fleet Air Arm

RN - Royal Navy

Originally formed as the Royal Naval Air Service in 1910, it was merged with the Royal Flying Corps in Apr 1918 to form the Royal Air Force. Following the Inskip Award in Jul 1937, the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Air Force and its shore bases transferred back to Royal Navy control on 24 May 1939 and the term Fleet Air Arm stuck. It was only officially adopted as the name of the service in 1953 !  The Royal Navy placed an order for 45 Sikorsky VS-316s (R-4s) in 1945 and became the first service in the world to order helicopters for operational use.
Since the 1970s, rotary wing aviation has eclipsed that of fixed wing with the Fleet Air Arm, following the major re-organisations announced in the UK 1957 Defence White Paper, which essentially retired the main carrier fleet, and the 1966 Defence White Paper which cancelled the replacement large strike carrier, CVA-01. The Fleet Air Arm provides maritime attack and combat air support for the fleet and its task groups. Anti-submarine, AEW, SAR and replenishment tasks are conducted plus helicopter assault and support for the Royal Marines, together with the comprehensive training necessary to complete these missions. Some training and other second line duties are carried out by civilian contractors or in joint civilian-military teams.
From 1 Oct 1999 the Commando Helicopter Force joined with the support and battlefield helicopters of the Army Air Corps and the Royal Air Force in the new Joint Helicopter Command (JHC). JHC is unified under Commander-in-Chief, Land. The RN contributes aircraft (plus about 1,000 personnel) from 845, 846, 847 and 848 Squadrons plus other aircraft from an attrition reserve. The FAA also contributes 705 Squadron to the tri-service Defence Helicopter Flying School.
The main FAA operational shore bases are HMS Heron (RNAS Yeovilton, tail code VL) and HMS Seahawk (RNAS Culdrose, tail code CU). A SAR detachment was based at Prestwick (HMS Gannet, tail code PW) in Scotland, until Mar 2016.
Fleet Air Arm assets, bases and personnel are the responsibility of Flag Officer, Naval Aviation (FONA).

Model Types

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  AW Merlin HC.42017
  AW Merlin HC.3i2015
  AW AW159 Wildcat HMA2 282011
  AW Sea King ASaC.71520022018
  AW EH1011998
  SNIA SA365 Dauphin 221997
  Westland Sea King HC.44319792016
  Westland Lynx 9519762017
  SNIA SA341C Gazelle HT.24019731997
  Westland Sea King 15519692018
  Westland Wasp9819631986
  Hiller UH-12E Raven2119621976
  Westland Wessex25019611988
  Saunders Roe Saro P.531319591964
  Hiller UH-12B HTE-22019531963
  Westland Whirlwind16719531977
  Sikorsky S-55 H-192519521962
  Saunders Roe Skeeter219521952
  Westland dragonfly7119501967
  Sikorsky S-51 / R-5 / H-5219491949
  Sikorsky R-4 Hoverfly 2419441948

Bases and Locations

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Base / HeliportUnits on this Location
   Boscombe Down744 NAS 2018/   
   HMNB Portsmouth1710 Squadron 2010/   
   HMS RaleighFOST 2012/   
   Newquay CornwallFOST 2012/   
   PredannackSFDO 1995/   
   RAF Shawbury705 NAS 1997/   
   RNAS Culdrose814 NAS 2001/   
820 NAS 1964/   
824 NAS 2000/   
849 NAS 1984/   
SFDO 1995/   
Normandy Flight 2014/   
Okinawa Flight 2014/   
Palembang Flight 2015/   
   RNAS Yeovilton815 NAS 1999/   
845 NAS 2016/   
846 NAS 2015/   
825 NAS 2014/   
727 NAS 2007/   

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