News story: Royal Navy receives upgraded Merlin helicopters

#1
Ministry of Defence said:
The 5 helicopters have been handed over to the Fleet Air Arm following an upgrade as part of a £750 million contract with Lockheed Martin.
Fitted with advanced glass cockpits and improved aircrew consoles and avionics, the Merlin Mk2 has advanced touch-screen displays and an improved ability to detect and track targets and share data with other aircraft and ships while airborne. These improvements will also enable the helicopters to carry out counter-piracy and casualty-evacuation duties.

Lieutenant Commander Simon Laurence uses the new touch-screen displays on the flight deck of a new Merlin Mk2 [Picture: Andrew Linnett, Crown copyright]Thirty Merlin Mk1 helicopters are being converted to Mk2s by Lockheed Martin. Once handed over to the Royal Navy, the airframes will undergo a series of extensive trials. The first helicopters are expected to be ready to deploy on operations by the summer of 2014.
Commander Ben Franklin, Commanding Officer of the Merlin Helicopter Force, said:
I am extremely proud to be leading the Merlin Force during this period. The delivery of the first 5 aircraft to the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm is a real milestone of this successful programme, which will provide vital support to the Navy as it fulfils its role in protecting UK interests across the globe.

Crew members from 824 Naval Air Squadron leaving two of the new Merlin Mk2 helicopters after a flight [Picture: Andrew Linnett, Crown copyright]Commodore Andy Lison, responsible for the Merlin, Lynx and Sea King teams in MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, said:
I am delighted that we are now firmly in the delivery phase of the project. The Merlin Mk2 is a truly exceptional aircraft and the programme to develop and build this aircraft has brought together the very best of MOD and defence industry to future-proof this vital capability for Defence.

The observer's panel inside a new Merlin Mk2 [Picture: Andrew Linnett, Crown copyright]Bob Kramer, Vice President and Group Managing Director, Lockheed Martin UK Integrated Systems, said:
The Merlin capability sustainment programme represents a magnificent team effort led by Lockheed Martin and AgustaWestland, supported by our suppliers, to provide the Royal Navy with unrivalled capability to carry out its anti-submarine patrol and policing requirement.
Merlin Mk1 helicopters have been in service with the Fleet Air Arm since the late 1990s and, after thorough testing and evaluation, have been deployed on operations since 2000.



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#2
Some good news at last for the RN. But the number of such helicopters must increase.
 
#5
My view was that the helicopters are too expensive and have taken too long to develop ,not that the Navy should be small.
 
#6
Remind me
Across the
45s service ish
23s in service
26s which will come into service
Amphib platforms etc
Replenishment etc
Future carriers... probably

How many would we need? Allowing for in service losses?
 
#7
Remind me
Across the
45s service ish
23s in service
26s which will come into service
Amphib platforms etc
Replenishment etc
Future carriers... probably

How many would we need? Allowing for in service losses?


About 60 Merlin and Wildcat to cover, assuming everything is at sea, unlikely in the extreme…


6 x DDG
13 x FFG
7 x RFA
8 x CVF

For LPA's, D's, H's and such like, you have 28 ex RAF Merlin HC4 coming on line to the FAA along with the usual AAC Wildcats, Apaches and RAF Wokkas.

Seems plenty.
 
#9
sqarebasher was on about this in private eye a bit back,good news for the navy,not so air force techies some of which will get the sack when the navy gets the rest.
 
#11
sqarebasher was on about this in private eye a bit back,good news for the navy,not so air force techies some of which will get the sack when the navy gets the rest.
Natural wastage will account for most, few will want to go RN and don't forget the Chinny fleet. Just guessing mind, don't know any SH dudes.
 

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