24 of 30 Royal Navy Merlin Mk2 Helicopters Have Reached Full Operational Capability

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Naval Forces News - UK
 
 
 
24 of 30 Royal Navy Merlin Mk2 Helicopters Have Reached Full Operational Capability
 
The first 24 Royal Navy Merlin Mk2 helicopters have achieved full operational capability. 6 Merlin Mk1 are still to be delivered as part of the 25-year Merlin Capability Sustainment Programme (MCSP), awarded in January 2006 to Lockheed Martin UK.
     
The first 24 Royal Navy Merlin Mk2 helicopters have achieved full operational capability. 6 Merlin Mk1 are still to be delivered as part of the 25-year Merlin Capability Sustainment Programme (MCSP), awarded in January 2006 to Lockheed Martin UK.
Royal Navy Merlin MK2 Helicopter on display during DSEI 2015
     
The MCSP’s objective is to provide a long-term sustainment and improvement of the ASW capability of the helicopters and gradually transform them into multi-role platforms. The cost of the programme is at USD750 million.

The upgraded Mk2 helicopters will feature high-end systems and capabilities, with Lockheed Martin UK being the main integrator. These include a management system and state-of-the-art glass cockpit (AgustaWestland), new solid-state storage unit (Saab), an upgrade of the Blue Kestrel surveillance radar of the Mk1 with SAR/ISAR modes and enhanced track-while-scan capability (Selex ES), an acoustic system suite that can perform both passive sonobouy and active sonar dipping search (Thales), a Data Preparation Facility and the Civil Navigation Database Loader (BAE Systems), an upgraded cockpit simulator with training devices for the whole of the crew (CAE) and 24-inch displays for the mission system operators (Barco).
     
The first 24 Royal Navy Merlin Mk2 helicopters have achieved full operational capability. 6 Merlin Mk1 are still to be delivered as part of the 25-year Merlin Capability Sustainment Programme (MCSP), awarded in January 2006 to Lockheed Martin UK.
Operator consoles aboard the Royal Navy Merlin Mk2 Helicopter present at DSEI 2015
     
The first Royal Navy Merlin Mk1 entered service in December 1998 and last of the 44 Merlin helicopters acquired was delivered in November 2002. Two were lost during accidents. The 28 EH101 Merlin HC3/HC3A currently serving with RAF are expected to be handed over to the Royal Navy in the future, to replace the Sea King Mk4 used by the Royal Marines.
 

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