702 NAS

702 Naval Air Squadron

702 Naval Air Squadron trains all ground and air crew for the front-line maritime Lynx squadron, 815 NAS.

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Based at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset, the squadron feeds 815 Naval Air Squadron with more than a dozen aircrew and in excess of 100 maintainers, courtesy of our 160 experienced personnel.

The training unit also provides refresher instruction annually for up to 50 fliers who’ve spent some time away from the Lynx community. For Lynx newcomers fresh from basic helicopter training at RAF Shawbury, or from the observer training squadron 750 NAS, there are 12 months of hard graft ahead as they learn how to fly – and fight – the world’s fastest helicopter.

All manner of instruction is required: rapid roping boarding teams, search and rescue, load lifting, ferrying passengers around, providing the eyes for naval gunfire as well as the traditional roles of maritime interdiction and submarine hunting. That instruction reaches its climax with an intensive training period at sea. At the same time, the Lynx ground crew are undergoing thorough operational training – which includes going to sea so they can learn how to maintain the helicopter in the confines of a warship at sea. The squadron is also the home of the award-winning Black Cats – the Royal Navy’s official helicopter display team. The display features close flying, fast passes, and dramatic manoeuvres. The team perform at air shows throughout the country over the summer display season.

Royal Navy Reservist awarded for 31 years service


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Unit History

Formation - Second Battle Squadron1936

702 Naval Air Squadron traces its history back to July 1936 and 702 Flight, which flew Walrus and Seal aircraft with 2nd Battle Squadron before flying Fairey Seafoxes during World War 2.

War in the Far East1943

Disbanded in 1943, the squadron stood up again towards the war’s end to support the war in the Far East. Unfortunately, they arrived in the Pacific three weeks after the Japanese threw in the towel.

The Next Incarnation1952

The next incarnation of the squadron was as the RN’s Jet Evaluation and Training Unit flying Sea Vampires, Meteors and Supermarine Attackers, until it was re-badged as part of 736 NAS in 1952.

A Training Squadron1978

After a brief reappearance in the late 50s as a training squadron giving non-Fleet Air Arm Navy personnel a taste of flight, the most recent variant of 702 was formed in Yeovilton in 1978.


Has been a training unit at Portland (1982-99) and today at Yeovilton with the motto 'cave ungues felis': beware the claws of the cat.

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RNAS Yeovilton

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