YouTube – Merlin Helicopter
three to six
3 x 2,100 shp ea.
64 ft. 1 in.
21 ft. 9 in.
61 ft. 0 in.
Merlin Helicopter – ASW
The Merlin helicopter has been in service since 1998. It is the primary replacement for the Sea King helicopter. The helicopter was designed by Agusta Westland and marketed through their European Helicopter division that changed their name to EH Industries. At that time the helicopter was designated the EH101 Merlin. The brand name it is sold under today has been changed to Agusta Westland and the helicopter is now designated the Agusta Westland AW101 Merlin.
The Merlin helicopter is equipped with state of the art avionics and weapons systems, making it a premier anti-submarine helicopter. It is large and makes an excellent weapons platform due to its smooth flight. A five blade main rotor contributes to its smooth operation. The rotor uses the same swept tip technology used by the Westland Lynx to set a helicopter speed record.
The Merlin helicopter has side facing air intakes and thermal deicing to fly in all weather conditions. It has enforced retractable landing gear to absorb hard landings, and nose wheel steering. Its gearbox is designed to permit 30 minutes of flight while running dry.
Three engines power the Merlin helicopter though a single rotor system. It is equipped with an all glass cockpit, and has electronic countermeasure systems located in its tail. Mission systems and avionics all feature multiple redundancy.
The Merlin helicopter may be equipped with a sea search radar that is also used for navigation and BVR targeting. A tactical systems officer sits in the rear cabin that contains sonar buoys and a dipping sonar. The helicopter can be armed with missiles, torpedoes and depth charges.
The Merlin helicopter is made in a number of variants. It is produced for the British Royal Navy and Italian Navy which primarily use it for anti-submarine warfare. It is equipped with computerized avionics and a search radar.
On April 26, 2019 Poland contracted with Agusta Westland in the amount of US$428 million for the purchase four Merlin helicopters. The helicopters will be used by its navy primarily for anti-submarine warfare and search and rescue. It is expected that deliveries will take place prior to the end of 2022.
Air Force Merlin Helicopter
The Royal Danish Air Force uses the Merlin helicopter for search and rescue and as a troop transport. It has six crew members, use more powerful engines, can carry up to 14,000 lbs. of cargo, and is specially painted with IR absorbing coating.
The Japanese Air Force Merlin helicopter is manufacturer under license by Kawasaki Industries. The helicopter has mechanical folding main and tail rotors and is equipped for ocean mine detection.
The Merlin helicopter VVIP is the civilian variant that is used as a long range civilian transport. Its cabin may be equipped in a variety of seating configurations, has an optional washroom and galley. The VVIP transport Merlin helicopter is capable of transporting passengers up to 620 miles.
The Petrel version of the Merlin helicopter was used by Canada through 1993. It was based on ships as an anti-submarine helicopter.
Other Merlin helicopter versions are used by military and civilian operators around the world.