It's a really capable aircraft at the beginning of its life and it's got a great deal of potential for further enhancements as the aircraft continues towards full operating capability.

Commander Andrew Henderson

Beyond supporting Daring, the new helicopter was shown off to a string of navies based or operating in the Middle East: French, Dutch, Pakistan, Oman, Saudi Arabian, Bahraini and the USA.

The aircraft flew more than 240 hours and only missed two operational sorties due to minor unserviceability issues which were quickly rectified by the senior maintenance rating, CPOAET Martin Colbourne, and his team of seven aircraft engineering technicians.

Flight Commander Andrew Henderson said that the time aboard Daring had demonstrated that Wildcat was many times more potent and effective than its forebear.

"Daring's command and principal warfare officers really got to understand what the Wildcat can bring to bear, from intelligence and surveillance collection or in simulated blue water Navy engagements.

"It's a really capable aircraft at the beginning of its life and it's got a great deal of potential for further enhancements as the aircraft continues towards full operating capability."

At his side throughout in the cockpit was pilot Lt Dal Nwokora who completed an impressive 364 deck landings over the nine-month period.

"The extra power in the engines and more powerful tail rotor make the Wildcat absolutely suited to operations at sea," he said.

"We landed on numerous different countries' ships, and everywhere we went there was a great deal of interest in our new aircraft as it was often the first time the Wildcat had been seen by those nations."

High performance wasn't just restricted to the aircraft; the Flight also had a good haul in promotion signals during the deployment, with six members of the Flight selected for promotion including both the Flight Commander and pilot - very rare.

Overall it's been a busy 9 months for the aircrew, aircraft controller and engineering technicians of 204 Flt and they are now looking forward to some well-earned leave before moving onto the next challenge.