The UK’s Royal Navy has received the first of a fleet of new Commando Merlin Mk4 helicopters designed for Royal Marine aircraft carrier operations. They have been acquired to replace the veteran Sea Kings.
Commando Merlin Mk4 sports a maritime grey coat, has a folding main rotor and tail, upgraded flight controls and a tactical computer. The modifications are designed to ensure it can now operate from sea, and it will take off from ships including the UK’s new 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, the UK’s ministry of defense said in a statement Thursday.
A total of 25 Commando Merlin aircraft will be delivered to the air wing of the Royal Marines - the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) –- who will use them to deliver troops and supplies from sea to land.
Defence Minister Guto Bebb said, “This new version of the Merlin will provide an essential bridge between sea and land for our Marines operating from ships, including our brand-new aircraft carriers. This fleet will deliver troops and supplies to the centre of the action, be that a conflict zone or the site of a humanitarian disaster, as well as providing search and rescue cover.”
The Commando Merlin Mk4 aircraft, an upgrade from the Merlin Mk3 standard, are being delivered through a £388 million contract between the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) and Leonardo Helicopters.
DE&S Director Helicopters Air Vice-Marshal Graham Russell said, “We look forward to all 25 aircraft being fully operational by 2023. DE&S will also ensure the Commando Merlin are supported with a full training and support solution.”
UK's new Sea Ceptor missile system worth £850 million meant to protect Royal Navys new aircraft carriers has entered service. “Sea Ceptor provides a shield against airborne threats, including hostile combat jets, helicopters and other missiles, and has been developed and manufactured through Ministry of Defence contracts worth around £850m,” UK MoD said in a statement Thursday
Britain has unveiled a major defense space strategy where the countrys air force would be responsible for “command and control” of the nations space missions, aiming to safeguard UK operations against “emerging space-based threats”. Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson has vowed to bring the number of specialists working in the countrys defense space sector to 600 which is a 20- percent jump from what Britain currently has, the ministry said in a release Monday during first ever UK Defence Space Conference
A British publication revealed in a report on Wednesday that the UK troops have been using the most-controversial thermobaric weapons or also known as ‘vacuum weapons, in its Syrian operations. The UK defense ministry accidentally revealed the details in a Freedom of Information (FoI) response to
The Defence Secretary of UK Gavin Williamson announced Sunday the countrys plan to invest up to £80 million in a new computer system to boost the RAFs speed and accuracy in protecting the skies. Known as Project Guardian, the new Air Command and Control System will support the continued early detection and rapid response to potential hostile or suspect aircraft that pose a threat to UK sovereignty, be that terrorists or state-based actors
The United Kingdom ministry of defense has selected a syndicate of British firms, along with four international shipbuilding companies to compete for its Fleet Solid Support Ships contract. The British consortium is made up of leading manufacturing and engineering companies Babcock, BAE Systems, Cammell Laird and Rolls-Royce
The United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (MoD) has formally cancelled its Fire Shadow loitering munitions weapons system project at a loss of £95 million ($148 million). The project was abandoned according to the ministrys 2017-18 annual accounts published on the MoDs website on last Friday
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