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|AW101 Merlin ASW/Transport Helicopter|
The Merlin medium lift helicopter is a variant of the EH101 helicopter developed by AgustaWestland (formerly EH Industries). Italy and Great Britain signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 1979 to develop a medium lift helicopter with Agusta and GKN Westland forming a joint venture company, EH Industries, to manage the EH101 development. Agusta and GKN Westland Helicopters merged to form AgustaWestland in February 2001. The Merlin’s primary roles are that of anti-surface ship and submarine warfare, tracking and surveillance, amphibious operations and search-and-rescue missions. It has been designed to be operated from Royal Navy Type 22, (Broadsword,) and Type 23, (Duke,) Class frigates, Invincible Class aircraft carriers and various amphibious warfare ships and land bases. The HM Mk 1 Merlin first entered service with the UK Royal Navy in December 1998, with the first squadron of Merlins being formed in October 2001 at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose. February 2002 saw the Merlin completing sea trials on the HMS Ark Royal aircraft carrier, whilst operational flight trials took place on HMS Lancaster, (a Type 23 Frigate). 44 Royal Navy Merlins were completed in November 2002 and deployed to units, with the 22 Merlin HC3 medium support helicopters for the UK Royal Air Force also being delivered.
With the formation of a global Unified Forces the Unified Government sought a multi-role helicopter able to operate off of the deck of any class of ship that the Unified Government pressed into service. With its large capability the Merlin was chosen as the primary Naval helicopter for the Unified Naval Forces. As a result more Merlins were manufactured and deployed to Unified Naval Forces ships around the world. The largest concentrations being on the Unified Naval Forces's numerous aircraft carriers to support the F-14A+ Tomcat's. The Merlin is expected to remain in service with the Unified Naval Forces until well into the first quarter of the 21st century.
- Merlin (HAS MK1): Anti-Submarine Warfare/Transport version (Royal Navy)
- Merlin (HC3): Medium Support version (Royal Air Force)
Anti-Submarine/Troop Transport/Logistic Support Helicopter
1 Pilot, 1 Co-Pilot/Observer, 1 Winchman; up to 35 fully equipped troops, or 16 stretchers
MDC BY LOCATION:
(1) Main Body 220
Cockpit Section 80
Rear Fuselage 100
Main Rotor 90
Rear Blades 30
- (1) Destruction of the main body will shut the unit down completely.
- 192 MPH (309 KMPH)
- 22.80m (blades turning)
- SERVICE CEILING:
- Service Ceiling 4,575m (15,000 feet)
- Empty Weight: 8,600kg (18,960lb)
- Max Weight: 14,600kg (32188lb)
- 633 miles (1,019 km)
- Cabin able to accomodate up to 35 fully equipped troops, or 16 stretchers. Up to 4,000kg of cargo can be underslung from an external cargo hook.
- POWER PLANT:
- Three Rolls Royce/Turbomeca RTM 322 three-shaft turbines giving 2,312shp each
1. Hardpoints (4):
Refer to Missile FCS 00 for details.
- Sting Ray Lightweight Torpedo: 1
- Mk.11 Mod 3 Depth Charge: 1 - used in conjunction with the Thomson Marconi Flash AQS960 Dipping Sonar
- Optional GPMP 12.7 mm Machine Gun: 2
Although they are not fitted as standard on the Merlin, the EH-101 does have the capability to have door mounted machine guns.
- RANGE: 1,800 m
- DAMAGE: 7D6 SDC per round. 6D6x10 SDC per 10 round burst. Refer to the Gun Pods and Beam Machine Gun Burst and Spray Rules for alternatives.
- RATE OF FIRE: Equal to the pilot's combined number of attacks. Note that firing of the machinegun isn't limited to only 10, 25 or 1,000 rounds. Any variation can be fired (it is recommended to stick to multiples of 10 for ease of damage resolution.)
- PAYLOAD: 1,000 round boxed belts. 2 extra boxes of ammo are carried inside the helicopter. Reloading takes 1 action of an extra box is readily available.
STANDARD EQUIPMENT FOR THE AGUSTA WESTLAND MERLIN:
- FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM/COMBAT COMPUTER/AUTOPILOT: The Merlin features the Smiths Industries OMI SEP 2 dual redundant digital air flight control system with an Alenia Marconi Systems aircraft management computer, as well as a Combat Computer that is able to identify aircraft that its radar picks up and can display the information to the pilot and co-pilots displays, (sensors include: BAE SYSTEMS LINS300 ring laser gyroscope inertial reference unit, LISA-4000 strapdown attitude heading reference system, Thales 91E doppler velocity sensor, two Thales AHV-16 radar altimeters and a BAE SYSTEMS low airspeed sensor and air data system.). The system is able to identify up to 500 targets.
- IFF: The Helicopter has an IFF, (Identification Friend or Foe,) system that when switched on identifies to other aircraft the Helicopters designation and country of origin. This system ensures that friendly aircraft do not fire on it.
- GPS: The Merlin has the Cossor STR2000 Global Positioning System installed to allow it to perform pin point navigation.
- DECK LOCKING SYSTEM: The Merlin features a hydraulically operated harpoon deck lock securing system to secure the helicopter to the deck.
- RADAR: 150 mile (240 km) range. GEC-Marconi Blue Kestrel 5000 Radar
- SONAR: 50 miles (80 km) range. Thomson Marconi Flash AQS-960 dipping sonar, plus GEC-Marconi Sonobouy acoustic processor AQS-903. The AQS-960 dipping sonar is a flash lightweight folding acoustic sonar from Thales Underwater Systems. Flash can search to a maximum depth of 2,000ft. The Merlin is also equipped with a Normalier-Garrett mission recorder and two sonobuoy and flare dispensers together with Chelton sonobuoy homers. The sonobuoys are Difar, Barra, Harp and VLA
- RADIO COMMUNICATION: Long range, directional communications system with satellite relay capabilities. Range: 600 miles (960 km) or can be boosted indefinitely via satellite relay.
- STANDARD SURVIVAL KIT: All Helicopter Crews flightsuits come equipped with portable survival equipment. The equipment includes a small waterproof radio/homing signal, a medium-sized flashlight, two hand flares, one rocket flare, a compass, a small mirror, a pocket knife, dehydrated and concentrated food (can be stretched into a five day supply for one person) and basic first aid items (aspirin, bandages, disinfectants, etc,) plus a life jacket flotation device.
COMBAT BONUSES FOR AGUSTA WESTLAND MERLIN:
BASIC FIGHTER COMBAT TRAINING
Basic training for non-pilot military personnel.
1 attack per melee (plus those of the pilot).
Add one additional action/attack at levels three, nine, and fifteen.
+1 to strike.
+1 to roll with a punch or fall with an impact, reducing damage by half.
Critical strike same as pilot's hand-to-hand.
ADVANCED MERLIN TRAINING
Advanced training for military pilots.
2 attacks per melee (plus those of the pilot).
Add one additional action/attack at levels 3, 6, 11 and 15.
+1 to strike
+1 to dodge
+2 to roll with a punch or fall with an impact, reducing damage by half.
Critical strike same as pilot's hand-to-hand.
© Aaron Sketchley