British RAF fighters just destroyed a US Navy ship — here’s why

The same Wildcat had also just fired its own Martlet air-to-surface missiles when this occurred. Once more, rather than firing at specially constructed targets, the helicopter was using a cruiser as its target at sea. More information about the Martlet missile’s capabilities may be found here.

Nevertheless, it is primarily intended for use against asymmetric targets like small, fast naval craft, boats that act as “suicide drones,” or other unmanned surface ships, particularly those that operate in swarms.

Before the U.S. ship could be used as a target in this fashion, extensive preparations were made over a long period to ensure the exercise was carried out in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, including the removal of dangerous compounds and contaminants.

The RAF’s 41st Squadron has a long and illustrious history

Number 41 Squadron, also known as the RAF’s Typhoon Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES), is headquartered at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.

The squadron was created in 1916 as a ground assault and fighter squadron on the Western Front of the First World War as a part of the Royal Flying Corps. No. 41 Squadron. This unit was later disbanded in 1919 as part of the post-war drawdown. It was reorganized as an RAF squadron in 1923 and continued on domestic duty until 1935, when it was sent to Aden during the Abyssinian Crisis.

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