UK — Royal Navy tests Merlin helicopters

A detach­ment of Roy­al Navy air­crew and engi­neers have spent a week thor­ough­ly test­ing the Mer­lin helicopter’s sen­sors and weapons to ensure that air­crew are ready for any oper­a­tional deploy­ment that they may be tasked with.

 Sting Ray Mod 1 anti-submarine torpedo
A Sting Ray Mod 1 anti-sub­ma­rine tor­pe­do is dropped from a Roy­al Navy Mer­lin heli­copter dur­ing capa­bil­i­ty tri­als near the Isle of Skye in Scot­land
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

The weapon and sen­sor tri­als were car­ried out at the British Under­wa­ter Test and Eval­u­a­tion Cen­tre sit­u­at­ed on Inner Raasay Sound near the Isle of Skye. 

The team of 20, led by Lieu­tenant Com­man­der Iain Mac­far­lane, make up the Mer­lin HM Mk1 Oper­a­tional Eval­u­a­tion Unit which is part of 824 Naval Air Squadron based at Roy­al Naval Air Sta­tion Cul­drose in Hel­ston, Cornwall. 

Dur­ing the week, sev­er­al tri­als were con­duct­ed by the air­crew using the Merlin’s potent suite of sen­sors and eight advanced Sting Ray Mod 1 tor­pe­does, which were fired in sim­u­lat­ed attacks. 

The air­crew and engi­neers of the Mer­lin Heli­copter Force are one of the main­stays of the UK’s anti-sub­ma­rine war­fare capa­bil­i­ty, and tri­als such as these ensure that they main­tain skills and tac­tics for now and in the future. 

Data from these tri­als will now be analysed by the Mar­itime War­fare Cen­tre who will then pro­vide the air­crew with the most up-to-date tac­ti­cal advice possible. 

One of the flight observers, Lieu­tenant Lau­ren Hul­ston, said: 

“Rig­or­ous­ly test­ing the Merlin’s sys­tems and weapons ensures that the crews are ready for what­ev­er oper­a­tional task­ing we may be giv­en. Tri­als like this are essen­tial for us to main­tain our readiness.” 

Mer­lin heli­copters are cur­rent­ly deployed across the globe in sup­port of Roy­al Navy oper­a­tions and ongo­ing com­mit­ments. The pri­ma­ry role of the Mer­lin heli­copter, the Roy­al Navy’s most mod­ern air­craft, is anti-sub­ma­rine war­fare; how­ev­er, due to its size, speed and proven tech­no­log­i­cal capa­bil­i­ty, this ver­sa­tile air­craft is also used in mar­itime secu­ri­ty operations. 

The heli­copter is large enough to car­ry Roy­al Marines for sniper oper­a­tions and board­ing via fast rop­ing, both of which are vital to counter the threat of pirates, and it is fit­ted with heavy duty machine guns and ther­mal imag­ing equipment. 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twitter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →