815 NAS

815 Naval Air Squadron

815 Naval Air Squadron provides a versatile and adaptable Lynx force to operate anywhere in the world, on any aviation capable ship, to carry out varied operational roles.

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815 NAS is the dedicated front line squadron for the Lynx helicopter.

The squadron is split into 16 operational flights, each one consists of: one helicopter, two aircrew (one pilot, one observer) and a seven-strong team of engineer technicians.  

Also attached to 815 NAS is Maritime Interdiction (MI) Flight which provides support and assistance to counter-terrorism in the UK.  

815 NAS is capable of carrying out multiple roles such as: counter-narcotics, anti-piracy, Above Surface Warfare (ASW), search and rescue, disaster relief and flying and engineering training.  

As with the rest of the Lynx Wildcat Maritime Force (LWMF) 815 NAS are based at RNAS Yeovilton.


On Deployment

This unit is currently on deployment find out how that might affect you.

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Maritime Lynx passes into history

Maritime Lynx passes into history


815 Naval Air Squadron Latest News

Lynx final farewell flypast

Last deployed Lynx in the Royal Navy flies home!

Last deployed Lynx in the Royal Navy flies home!

See all news for 815 Naval Air Squadron

Current operation Atlantic Patrol Tasking North

The APT(N) task centres on reassurance to UK overseas dependent territories, providing humanitarian and disaster relief during the main hurricane season (June to November) and conducting counter narcotic patrols as part of the wider international effort.

  • Operation Patwin

    Operation Patwin is the military component of the UK’s humanitarian aid mission to the Philippines after the ravages of Typhoon Haiyan.

Providing humanitarian assistance

When natural or man-made disasters occur, a country’s infrastructure and resources can be crippled. With loss of electricity, shortage of food and water supplies, and human lives at risk – responding to such life-threatening scenarios is central to the Royal Navy’s ethos. Because we have the skills, equipment and know-how to go anywhere, regardless of potential damage to local infrastructure.

Protecting our economy

Maritime trade is the lifeblood of the UK economy and industry. 95% of Britain’s economic activity depends on the oceans. And every year Britain imports goods worth £524 billion.

The UK is so dependent on the seas for its prosperity, that without the Royal Navy acting as a deterrent the effect on the economy would be overwhelming.

Location Caribbean

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Unit History


815 Naval Air Squadron was born as World War 2 began, formed at RNAS Worthy Down on 9th October 1939 with obsolete Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers.

The Greatest Victory1940

Despite its antiquated aircraft, 815 scored the Fleet Air Arm’s greatest victory, crippling the Italian Fleet at Taranto in November 1940 – for the loss of a single Swordfish. 

Cape Matapan1941

815 remained a thorn in the Italian Navy’s side, torpedoing the cruiser Pola at the Battle of Cape Matapan in 1941, sowing the seeds for the routing of five enemy ships by the Mediterranean Fleet.

In The Mediterranean1941

Flying Swordfish and Fairey Albacores, 815 NAS continued in North Africa and Sicily. 815 later flew in an anti-submarine role in the Far East and home waters with Fairey Barracudas .

Changing Airframes1958

Through the 1950s the squadron operated Grumman Avengers and, finally, Fairey Gannets, before it converted to helicopters: the Westland Whirlwind in 1958 and from 1961, the capable Wessex.


815 took part in operations off East Africa (Tanzania), Indonesia and Aden during the era of the ‘end of Empire’, flying from the carrier, HMS Centaur.


In 1966, the squadron disbanded, not returning to the FAA for another 15 years when it recommissioned at RNAS Yeovilton in 1981 with the Lynx HAS Mk2 as the Headquarters Squadron.

In the Falklands1982

It moved to Portland in 1982 and was involved in the Falklands campaign, the Armilla patrol in the Gulf and relief operations off Lebanon, Aden and in the Caribbean.

Offensive Operations1990

Between August 1990 and February 1991 several flights were involved in offensive operations in the northern Gulf, using their Sea Skua missiles to knock out much of the Iraqi Navy.

Battle Honours1991

Kuwait 1991


Parenting of flights was shared with 829 Naval Air Squadron until 1993 when the two merged, making 815 NAS the largest helicopter squadron in the world.

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Commanding Officer Philip Richardson

Rank: Commander

Commander Philip Richardson joined the Royal Navy in 1996, he assumed command of 815 Naval Air Squadron in April 2015.

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