Merlin Mk 2

Submarine Hunter

Merlin Mk2 entered service in 2014 as an upgrade for the original 1990’s Mk1 naval version. Its role is supply the UK’s Maritime Force Protection and airborne anti-submarine warfare capability for the foreseeable future. 

The Merlin Capability Sustainment Programme provided 30 Mk2s with a redesigned cockpit and aircraft management computer system; a total re-wiring of the aircraft and a new open-architecture tactical mission system. Enhancements to the RADAR and sonar systems mean the Merlin continues to be the world’s most potent sub hunting helicopter.

Beyond searching for submarines the helicopter is capable of much more, including round-the-clock maritime patrol and interdiction – armed with Sting-Ray Torpedoes, Mk11 Depth Charges and the M3m .50 Calibre Machine Gun; troop ferrying, casualty evacuation, medium lift under-slung loads, Search and Rescue, and other contingency tasks. 

In the future the Merlin Mk2, as part of the the Crowsnest programme, will also be the replacement aircraft for the Navy’s Sea King Mk7 Airborne Surveillance and Control. A genuine all-rounder!

Training on the helicopter takes place at 824 Naval Air Squadron and the Merlin Training Facility – the ‘Academy’ of Merlin. The main base for both training and Front-line aircraft is at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall.

The Merlin Mk2 is already in the thick of major naval exercises with 820, 824 and 829 Naval Air Squadrons and 820 Naval Air Squadron will soon deploy with the UK’s Response Force Task Group.

  • Merlin Mk2

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