A groundbreaking helicopter designed with the help of pilots. What resulted is an aircraft that is immense fun to drive around the sky, but is incapable of carrying any of the stuff it was supposed to. Including Squaddies.
Still not fully cleared for a combat environment otherwise the 'Stan would be full of them. This slowness in shipping to hot spots is perhaps because they would get dusty, damaged and grubby squaddies would wank off in the back.
Interestingly, one of the finest Merlin navigators around is a She who used to be a he. Don't get me wrong, she is truly a great navigator and a really top girl, but I'm sure she won't mind me saying that she looks like a docker with a blonde wig on.
The new Type 45 destroyers that the matelots are getting are also scheduled to receive a Merlin. However due to the MoD being afraid of the Merlins 'getting a bit wet', the part of the Merlin will be played by a Lynx with cardboard bits glued on probably until the Merlin is obsolete.