Oct 20, 2015
Royal Navy receives first updated Merlin HC3
Modified under the Ministry of Defence’s 25-aircraft Merlin Life-Sustainment Programme, the rotorcraft is one of seven being adapted during a first-phase activity. This will cover for the retirement of the Commando Helicopter Force’s last Westland Sea King HC4s in March 2016 and the updated aircraft are due to reach initial operating capability status “in spring 2016”, AgustaWestland says.
Updates include a folding main rotor head and a revised main undercarriage, which, along with new deck lashing rings, will allow for operations from naval vessels, plus communication system updates.