I do hope all the PWOs and Ops officers are reading this thread - they could learn a thing or two. Would save millions too cos... we could then cancel BOST!
I have stumbled upon the link I thought of at the time, but forgot the title.Rather than buy EH101/Merlin in quantity, the Italians bought arms loads of a Sea King sized helicopter, the NH90, the same size helicopter the RN actually wanted.
And check out its endurance, yes…… 5 hours.
The RN never bought another Merlin after the first batch it was forced to buy, even when the Merlins development costs were written off and it was actually quite cheap.
After 20 years in service, it still remains stubbornly unreliable - but It was a fatally compromised design right off the drawing board with no growth left in its overly complex transmission. Yes, you read that right, it entered service with the transmission at the end of its tether, every pound of weight its gained over the years just added more stress to an already at its design limits transmission - so you cant just chuck in more SHP as they gain weight, and helicopters never get lighter with age.