The purpose of the team is to exhibit to the public the new Wildcat helicopter, capture their imagination and show off in the finest traditions of the Fleet Air Arm

Lieutenant Commander David Lilly, Team leader and pilot of Black 1

Rear Admiral Blount scrutinised all aspects of the team both on the ground and in the air and witnessed all three displays to be used throughout this season.

Although this will be the fourth season for experienced Black Cats pilot Lt Cdr Lilly, it is the first for the pilot of Black 2, Lieutenant Chris Rebbeck, who said: “When I joined the Lynx Wildcat Maritime Force, I always appreciated the way the Black Cats handled the aircraft.

“Having now gone through the rigorous training process, I understand why they are regarded as one of the best display teams in the UK and I am proud to carry that tradition forward.”

Both Black Cats pilots are Qualified Helicopter Instructors with 825 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton and, before joining the team, operated the venerable Lynx Mk8 from Type 23 frigates and Type 45 destroyers.

Lt Cdr Lilly added: “I am looking forward to entertaining the public and being able to represent the outstanding work that continues by 825 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm and Royal Navy around the World.”

The Black Cats will be performing on Armed Forces Day events in Cleethorpes, Blackpool and Plymouth over the weekend of June 25-26; RNAS Yeovilton’s air day on July 2, RNAS Culdrose’s air day on July 28 and in the Netherlands on June 10-11 as well as in Jersey and Guernsey on September 8.