816 Squadron

816 Squadron Badge

816 Squadron operates 16 Sikorsky S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopters. The primary role of the Seahawk is to embark in the Navy's FFG and FFH frigates and provide anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface surveillance. With its unique sensor suite and integrated weapons systems, the Seahawk extends the combat radius of the ship by finding, localising and attacking where appropriate, surface or submarine targets either independently or in conjunction with other forces. A typical Seahawk mission involves up to four hours of low-level operations over the sea, by day or night, in all weather, often recovering to a ship's deck that pitches and rolls dramatically in heavy seas and is often wet with spray.

The Seahawk carries a highly capable navigation, communication and sensor suite making it a formidable helicopter in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare. The sensors include: the Super Searcher radar, magnetic anomaly detector, sonics processing for both active and passive sonobuoys, forward-looking infra-red (FLIR) and electronic support measures. The Seahawk's main weapon is the MK 46 torpedo and it can also be fitted with a 7.62 mm door mounted general purpose machine gun.

In addition to the Seahawk's primary roles, its comprehensive sensors and excellent performance make it an ideal helicopter for performing a number of secondary roles including: search & rescue, troop lift and tactical insertion, utility operations (winching and external load lift) and fire bombing.

The pilot is the aircraft captain who controls the helicopter and is responsible for its overall safe operation. The tactical coordinator (TACCO) is an observer who is responsible for the tactical employment of the aircraft. The sensor operator (SENSO) is responsible for the operation of the aircraft's sensor equipment, and also the winch and hook operations when performing secondary utility roles

The 816 Squadron Crest depicts the head of a Bengal tiger on a black field in allusion to its warlike and courageous qualities. The motto, 'Imitate the Action of the Tiger', is drawn from the extract of William Shakespeare's 'Henry V' shown below.

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead! In peace there's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility: But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger; Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, Disguise fair nature with hard favour'd rage; Then lend the eye a terrible aspect." William Shakespeare's Henry V (Act III Scene I).