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846 - 1st of the junglie Merlins Handed over...

KATWEEZIL

Lantern Swinger
Thought this would be posted by now

Yesterday marked the end of an era for the Royal Air Force and the start of a new one for the Royal Navy as the official handover of the Merlin helicopter took place in a formal ceremony at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire.

The formal Royal parade marked the next stage in the transition of the Merlin helicopter from the Support Helicopter Force to the Commando Helicopter Force, a move that was introduced in the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Since 2012, aircrew and engineers from the Commando Helicopter Force of the Royal Navy have been integrated into the Merlin Force at RAF Benson; working alongside their Royal Air Force counterparts to absorb over a decade of experience of operating and maintaining the technologically advanced aircraft.

The ceremony was attended by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke of York, the Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm, and Prince Michael of Kent, Honorary Air Marshal of Royal Air Force Benson.

Having been successfully employed on RAF operations in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan and capable of carrying up to 24 fully equipped troops, the Merlin is ideally placed to transfer to the littoral role undertaken by the Commando Helicopter Force.

The transition programme saw 78 Squadron RAF disband and 846 Naval Air Squadron stand up. 846 NAS will remain at RAF Benson until Spring next year when they and several of the Merlin aircraft will return to the home of the Commando Helicopter Force, Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset.

Transition will continue at RAF Benson when 845 Naval Air Squadron will stand up in place of 28 (Army Cooperation) Squadron RAF later in 2015. When fully operational, 845 Squadron will also return home to Yeovilton to reunite the fleet.


Linky
 

Waspie

War Hero
Junglie Merlin has a lot to live up to following in the shadow of the Mighty Wessex MkV and Seaking Mk4's.

I'm sure once the crab is scrubbed out of them they will be fine.
 

Bad CO

Admin
Great news for CHF that they're finally getting a replacement for the SKs which are well past their shelf life. The scandal about this is the huge cost of the double lot of training that is taking place i.e all the RN/RM SK guys getting trained on Merlin whilst all the fully trained and operational Merlin Sqns are getting trained to fly Chinooks .......
 
Great news for CHF that they're finally getting a replacement for the SKs which are well past their shelf life. The scandal about this is the huge cost of the double lot of training that is taking place i.e all the RN/RM SK guys getting trained on Merlin whilst all the fully trained and operational Merlin Sqns are getting trained to fly Chinooks .......

Well, if the RAF were happy to embark in LPH/LPD/QE for sustained deployments and carry out the role of Amphib lift, then they could've avoided it. However, they seemed to want to retain the RAF way of life (fair enough, it's what they joined), hence the roll-over to us!
 
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guestm

Guest
We now have more RW assets than the AAC and RAF combined.

This is a win, whichever way you look at it.

Edited to add: No we haven't, nowhere near. Damn NAAFI queue.
 
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guestm

Guest
Really? I'd be interested to see how you calculate that...

I stand corrected, that will teach me to believe a statement by an RAF Group Captain. According to the MAR (active only)

AAC: 205
FAA: 159
RAF: 147
 

Waspie

War Hero
People tend to forget the AAC, (teeny weeny airways), when thinking of military aircraft.
They have many FW as well as choppers. Don't know what they use now but in days of yor they had many, Beavers, Otters and such.
 

Magic_Mushroom

War Hero
Well, if the RAF were happy to embark in LPH/LPD/QE for sustained deployments and carry out the role of Amphib lift, then they could've avoided it. However, they seemed to want to retain the RAF way of life (fair enough, it's what they joined), hence the roll-over to us!

That's a slightly disingenuous comment I suggest Alfred given the op tempo in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere of RAF BH in the last decade, not to mention the JHC dimension. Embarked on a safe ship with beer and a proper bed or deployed in the desert sucking up IDF: I suspect many RAF rotary crews would opt for the former and I know many who enjoy ops from ships.

The transfer of Merlin to the CHF is good news although I temper my enthusiasm until the full 'marinisation' programme has been completed to provide folding blades and tail. No doubt that that's all part of the evil Crustacean master plan for World domination however!

People tend to forget the AAC, (teeny weeny airways), when thinking of military aircraft.
They have many FW as well as choppers. Don't know what they use now but in days of yor they had many, Beavers, Otters and such.

Just a handful of Defenders now.

I do wish the AAC would assume responsibility for Land UAS from the RA though. Unfortunately, a combination of a lack of enthusiasm for unmanned assets and Gunner influence/empire protection has prevented this sensible measure. This has certainly been a contributory factor in the H450/Watchkeeper saga and had negative impacts on deployed ISR.

Regards,
MM
 
That's a slightly disingenuous comment I suggest Alfred given the op tempo in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere of RAF BH in the last decade, not to mention the JHC dimension. Embarked on a safe ship with beer and a proper bed or deployed in the desert sucking up IDF: I suspect many RAF rotary crews would opt for the former and I know many who enjoy ops from ships.

The transfer of Merlin to the CHF is good news although I temper my enthusiasm until the full 'marinisation' programme has been completed to provide folding blades and tail. No doubt that that's all part of the evil Crustacean master plan for World domination however!

Sorry, I'll re-phrase. AIR CMD didn't seem overjoyed to commit AIR assets to NAVY FGen process. The individual crews would've embarked no problem. (having seen IV Sqn at sea, they loved it, I'm not sure Wings was quite as happy!)
 
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guestm

Guest
That's a slightly disingenuous comment I suggest Alfred given the op tempo in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere of RAF BH in the last decade, not to mention the JHC dimension. Embarked on a safe ship with beer and a proper bed or deployed in the desert sucking up IDF: I suspect many RAF rotary crews would opt for the former and I know many who enjoy ops from ships.

The transfer of Merlin to the CHF is good news although I temper my enthusiasm until the full 'marinisation' programme has been completed to provide folding blades and tail. No doubt that that's all part of the evil Crustacean master plan for World domination however!



Just a handful of Defenders now.

I do wish the AAC would assume responsibility for Land UAS from the RA though. Unfortunately, a combination of a lack of enthusiasm for unmanned assets and Gunner influence/empire protection has prevented this sensible measure. This has certainly been a contributory factor in the H450/Watchkeeper saga and had negative impacts on deployed ISR.

Regards,
MM

The RA getting UAS was a shocker. Seriously.
 
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