RNAS Culdrose is located near Helston on the Lizard Peninsula of Cornwall, and is the largest helicopter base in Europe. Culdrose provides Merlin HM.2 anti-submarine helicopters which are deployed on Royal Navy vessels.
RNAS Culdrose Satellite View
Culdrose is also home to the Hawks of 736 NAS which provide a maritime aggressor squadron for simulating missile attacks and fast jet attacks on warships during exercises. It is also home to the Avenger T.1 which is used for Observer Training. The Sea King ASaC.7 airborne early warning helicopters and the ScanEagle unmanned drones are also based here.
Military Aircraft Tracker in the UK
• Current Military Aircraft in the UK Tracker.
• Historic Military Aircraft in the UK Tracker.
• Military Aircraft around the World Tracker.
Plane Finder tracks mainly civilian flights but does also include some military aircraft such as the Tutor, Tucano, Hawk, Voyager, BAe 146, Squirrel HT1, and Sentinel R1 etc which can be seen over the UK. ADS-B Exchange (Click on Global Radar View) tracks many other military aircraft such as Tornado, Typhoon, F-15, Hercules etc over the UK.
Military Aircraft Photographs at UK Military Bases
RNAS Culdrose Scanner Frequencies
Approach - 282.575, 134.050
Radar - 279.700, 375.700
Director - 231.775, *123.300
PAR - 336.300, 336.525, *123.300
Tower - 370.650, *122.100
Ground - 241.925
ATIS - 278.900
*= NATO Common Frequency
Aircraft & Squadrons
Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose operates the Merlin helicopter squadrons which are deployed on Royal Navy vessels and military operations. 824 Naval Air Squadron is a Merlin Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) which trains Pilots, Observers and Aircrewman on the Merlin helicopter. 849 Naval Air Squadron operated the Sea King ASaC.7 which provided Airborne surveillance and control (ASaC) but will be replaced with a Merlin helicopter with radar pods (Crowsnest) to provide Airbourne Early Warning (AEW) for the new Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth Carriers.
736 Naval Air Squadron operate the Hawk T.1 which simulate missile attacks and fast jet attacks on warships in naval exercises. The Hawks are owned by the Royal Air Force and leased to the Royal Navy. 750 Naval Air Squadron operate the Avenger T.1 which provides training for the Fleet Air Arm's observers. 700X Naval Air Squadron are equipped with ScanEagle unmanned aircraft (drones) which can be launched and recovered from a Royal Navy vessel and are used for reconnaissance. It can stay airborne for around 15 to 18 hours at distances upwards of 70 miles from the ship to gather intelligence and survey the wider area of operations. 1700 Naval Air Squadron provides Maritime Aviation Support Force.
736 Naval Air Squadron - Hawk T.1.
750 Naval Air Squadron - Avenger T.1.
814 Naval Air Squadron - Merlin HM.2.
820 Naval Air Squadron - Merlin HM.2.
824 Naval Air Squadron OCU - Merlin HM.2.
849 Naval Air Squadron - ASaC Role(Sea King ASaC.7 retired September 2018 and will be replaced by Crowsnest).
700X Naval Air Squadron - ScanEagle.
The Culdrose Air Day
was held here every year but was cancelled in 2017 in order to focus resources on delivering their primary roles; to protect the strategic nuclear deterrent, support counter terrorism and be ready to defend the Royal Navy's carrier task groups.
RNAS Culdrose was built and commissioned as HMS Seahawk in 1947. It was originally designed to be a wartime airfield lasting about ten years. It was to become a Naval Fighting School but soon developed other roles. Initially, Culdrose operated the Firefly, Anson and Sea Fury.
Culdrose was later used for trials of the Navy's first jets, training of airbourne early warning crews with the Skyraider AD-4W and later the Gannet AEW 3, and as a base for carrier based aircraft. In the 1960s, Culdrose operated the Sea Vixen, Sea Venom and Sea Hawk. It was also the main helicopter training base for the Royal Navy with Hillers, Whirlwinds, Dragonflies, and later the Wasp and Wessex helicopters.
In 1970, a rebuilding program began at Culdrose, and in 1972 Culdrose was home to the Royal Naval Observer School and 750NAS (Observer Training Squadron) operating the Sea Prince aircraft. The Sea King helicopter was also based here in the 1970s.
More recently the stations emphasis has changed from fixed wing aircraft to helicopters, although its role has remained largely the same. The airbase puts £100 million into the Cornish economy and is the largest single-site employer in Cornwall. Presently, Culdrose operates the Sea King and Merlin helicopters.