RNAS Yeovilton is located north of Yeovil in Somerset, and is currently home to the Wildcat helicopters of the Fleet Air Arm (FAA), Army Air Corps (AAC) & Commando Helicopter Force (CHF), along with their Merlin helicopters.
RNAS Yeovilton Satellite View
Yeovilton is also home to the Fleet Air Arm Museum, and the Royal Navy Historic Flight. The Royal Navy International Air Day is held here every year, usually in July.
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RNAS Yeovilton Scanner Frequencies
Approach - 374.950, 127.350
Radar - 374.950, 127.350
Director - 240.575, *123.300
PAR - 247.400, 397.050, *123.300
Tower - 376.300, 120.800
Ground - 362.850, *122.100
ATIS - 244.550
*= NATO Common Frequency
Aircraft & Squadrons
Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton is home to all the new Wildcat HMA.2 helicopter squadrons which are deployed on Royal Navy vessels and on military operations.
It is also home to the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) which operates the Merlin HC.3/4 and Wildcat AH.1 in support of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines. The Merlin HC.3/4 provides troop transport and load lifting support, and the Army's Wildcat AH.1 provides armed reconnaissance and light transport. The CHF Merlin helicopters are being upgraded to HC.4 standard to ensure the aircraft are fully capable of deploying in a maritime/amphibious role. On Tuesday 27 July 2021 the Commando Helicopter Force's last green Merlin MK3 helicopter, ZJ132 'Q' flew its final flight en route for conversion to become a Commando Merlin (MK4).
In October 2015, the consolidation of the Army Air Corps (AAC) for Army 2020 resulted in a large regular aviation regiment of Wildcat AH1 being based at RNAS Yeovilton. As such, all 62 UK military Wildcats on order will operate from Yeovilton.
In addition to the squadrons, the air station is home to the Navy's Fighter Controller School, the School of Aircraft Control, the Helicopter Underwater Escape Trainer and the Royal Navy Historic Flight team and aircraft.
727 Naval Air Squadron operates the Grob Tutor for training students.
Fleet Air Arm:
815 Naval Air Squadron - Wildcat (prev. *Lynx HMA.8).
825 Naval Air Squadron - Wildcat HMA.2.
727 Naval Air Squadron - Tutor T.1.
Joint Helicopter Command/Fleet Air Arm:
845 Naval Air Squadron CHF - Merlin HC.4.
846 Naval Air Squadron CHF - Merlin HC.4.
847 Naval Air Squadron CHF - Wildcat AH.1.
British Army (1 Regiment) JHC/AAC:
652 Squadron - Wildcat AH.1.
659 Squadron - Wildcat AH.1.
661 Squadron - Wildcat AH.1.
* 815 NAS formally retired the Lynx HMA.8 on the 23rd March 2017. See article.
The Army bid farewell to the Lynx in January 2018 and more details can be found here.
The Royal Navy Historic Flight
are also based here, having been established in 1972, and serve as a living memorial to all those who have served in the Royal Naval Air Service and Fleet Air Arm since the birth of naval aviation in 1909.
In 1939, the Admiralty Air Division commandeered the land at Yeovilton and began construction of the site. The runways were completed in 1941 despite problems with poor drainage. 750 Naval Air Squadron (Royal Navy Observer School) moved to Yeovilton in 1939 and was joined by 751 and 752 Squadrons with the Naval Air Fighter School soon following. Westland Aircraft also developed a repair facility at the site.
From 1940, 794 Naval Air Squadron was the first to be formed at the base and served to train other squadrons to practice aerial gunnery, and part of one of the runways was marked up as a flight deck to practice landing on an aircraft carrier. 827 Naval Air Squadron was also stationed at Yeovilton operating Fairey Albacores and later Barracudas starting in May 1943.
After the War, Yeovilton became one of the main demobilization centres for the Royal Navy, with many of the men helping to refurbish the runways while they stayed at the base. In 1952, Yeovilton became the shore base for the fleets all-weather fighters. The runways were further extended in 1952 and 1957 to cope with jet aircraft. In May 1953, it became the headquarters of Flag Officer Flying Training.
During the 1960s, the School of Fighter Direction returned to Yeovilton, and the Sea Venoms were replaced by the de Havilland Sea Vixens then in turn by the McDonnell-Douglas Phantom FG.1 as a carrier-borne fighter. Royal Navy fixed wing operations were later phased out, and the Phantoms transferred to the RAF. The base remained as the home of the Commando Helicopter Squadrons, using the Wessex HU.5 and later the Sea King HC.4, and the fixed wing Fleet Requirements and Aircraft Direction Unit (FRADU) and became the main shore base for the Navy's fleet of Sea Harrier FRS.1 (and later, FA.2s). A ski-jump was installed to enable practice of ski-jump assisted take-offs.
All Harrier operations ceased in 2010 after the Strategic Defence and Security Review. The replacement Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, is now due to enter service in 2018, when it will equip the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. These aircraft will however, be operated from RAF Marham.
All 62 UK military Wildcat helicopters, which have replaced the Lynx helicopter, will operate from RNAS Yeovilton.