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Royal Navy Merlin Helicopter | by Defence Imagery
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Royal Navy Merlin Helicopter

A Royal Navy Merlin helicopter taking part in an exercise over the south of England.


Merlin Mk1 – the world’s most potent submarine hunting helicopter. The Merlin Mk1 have been in service with the Fleet Air Arm since the late 1990s and, after thorough testing and evaluation, the helicopters have been on the front line since 2000.


Our job is to find – and if necessary destroy – enemy submarines using our state-of-the-art sonar buoys which we drop into the ocean and Sting Ray torpedoes. Beyond searching for submarines, we carry out traditional maritime helicopter duties: anti-piracy/drug-running patrols, surveillance and reconnaissance, search and rescue, and passenger and load transfers.


There are more than 40 Merlins in service with the Fleet Air Arm in training and front-line squadrons. Most of these are in the middle of a £750m upgrade to turn the Merlin Mk1 into the Merlin Mk2 which has more powerful computer systems and is easier for aircrew to operate.


This image was an entry to the Peregrine Trophy 2013 Royal Navy Photographic Competition.



© Crown Copyright 2013

Photographer: LA(PHOT) Dave Jenkins

Image 45155806.jpg from



This image is available for high resolution download at subject to the terms and conditions of the Open Government License at Search for image number 45155806.jpg


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Taken on August 7, 2012