> our title:

Royal Navy Begins Test of Remotely Piloted Aircraft

> original title:

700X Begins Test of Remotely Piloted Aircraft

(Source: Royal Navy; issued November 5, 2019)

Royal Navy personnel from 700X Naval Air Squadron underwent training in the United States on the Puma and Wasp drones, and will now begin to operate them in the UK. (RN photo)

A team from 700X Naval Air Squadron, based at RNAS Culdrose, has just returned from specialist training in the USA.

Now the Cornwall-based aviators are ready to take the next steps on their innovation journey, as they grow their expertise in the field of remotely piloted aviation.

Whilst in Huntsville, Alabama, 700X received training on the Puma and Wasp air systems and learnt how to operate the aircraft in various scenarios.

Now the team is looking forward to applying that knowledge in the maritime world – their next stop is flying the aircraft at our training airfield, Predannack.

With a mixture of classroom and practical training, the team learnt how to launch and recover the vehicles in a variety of modes from purely manual to autonomous.

Once they had mastered these skills, they progressed onto mission planning using a laptop to programme a mission set and controlled the aircraft from the laptop.

700X NAS Commanding Officer Lt Cdr Justin Matthews is looking forward to putting the new-found skills into action in the UK, he said: “Whilst learning the fundamentals of the Puma and Wasp air systems, we have developed an understanding of the tactical applications for both the Royal Navy and Royal Marines which we will progress now that we have returned to the UK.

“We hope to start flying out of Predannack airfield very soon. Once we gain more experience, then 700X NAS will progress to taking part in exercises in the UK for both maritime and land.”