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BBC: "RNAS Yeovilton's 'Love' For Outgoing Sea Kings"

Handler

War Hero
Let us not forget the other places which are Sea King associated, particularly RNAS Culdrose, I am sure that they are held with just as much regard.
 

scouse

War Hero
Not forgetting HMS Osprey 737 Squadron 73.... seem to remember it being one of the first Sea King squadrons???? Sonar and Radar, Sure could empty the crewroom, when asking the baby pinkys to come out for a 195?? sonar change
 

soleil

War Hero
?

The thread is about the Sea King.

Where do 'Crabs' and 'Merlins' come in?

Nice to know your train of thought on that one!!!

Waspie

I'm wondering whether TB is referring to the marinisation of the Merlins from RAF Benson, as mentioned in Hansard recently:

"Armed Forces: Helicopters

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the effects of the marinisation of Merlin helicopters on RAF Benson; and if he will make a statement; [73694]

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the implications of marinisation of Merlin helicopters for their capacity to fly hot and high; and if he will make a statement; [73695]

(3) what assessment his Department has made of the implications of marinisation for the weight of Merlin helicopters; and if he will make a statement; [73696]

(4) how many Merlin helicopters have been selected for marinisation; and if he will make a statement; [73697]

(5) what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the marinisation of the Merlin helicopter; and if he will make a statement. [73698]

13 Oct 2011 : Column 495W

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence is currently exploring options as part of the concept phase for the Merlin Life sustainment programme. It is therefore too early in the programme to be able to confirm details regarding cost, scope and aircraft weight and performance.

The implications of future helicopter plans for RAF Benson will be better understood upon conclusion of the Defence rotary wing capability study, which is expected towards the end of this year."

We touched on this subject on Rum Ration when the idea was first mooted:

http://www.navy-net.co.uk/fleet-air-arm/53446-raf-benson-merlins-converted-use-sea.html
 

Waspie

War Hero
Thanks Soleil, I am confused by the 'goodbye to the Sea King' and crab/Merlin connection. I do remember the thread we had vis a vis the marinisation of the Merlin but still think that link is tenuous in respect of the 'King' fleets demise.

Back on track, if the PU is as good as the Wasp disbanding party late 80's it should be some shin dig.
 
We operate Merlin Mk1 (soon to be Mk2) which is marinised, the Crabbos operate the Mk3 and 3a variants which aren't. It is my understanding that the Mk3 &3a a/c will be upgraded to 'Mk4' and given to the Junglies @ VL which is IMO not the best idea. IIRC the mighty Mk4 SK can lift and carry more than the Merlin which is rediculously expensive to run. The support contracts that have been drawn up in the past have been ripping pusser off left right and chelsea. How on earth can it cost £5000 to ship a packing case 4'x2'6"x2'6" to Italy for R4 maintanence!

I heard it cost in the region of £15k to ship a main rotor head to Italy too, and thats before the bill just to assess the damage or the bill to repair it!

I think we should have bought a smaller more numerous a/c from the US, spares not a problem, there are thousands in service across the US forces and elsewhere - the Blackhawk. Merlins are a huge drain on MoD funds. It'd probably be cheaper to buy new Blackhawks than marinise the Mk3/3a Merlins.
 

Grubber

Lantern Swinger
?

The thread is about the Sea King.

Where do 'Crabs' and 'Merlins' come in?

Nice to know your train of thought on that one!!!

In the linked article, it comments on the reason for the demise of the Seaking, i.e. it's replacement by the Merlin which the Crabs currently operate. I imagine the comment about our light-blue brethren and the Merlin fleet was in reference to that.
 

Waspie

War Hero
I think we should have bought a smaller more numerous a/c from the US, spares not a problem, there are thousands in service across the US forces and elsewhere - the Blackhawk. Merlins are a huge drain on MoD funds. It'd probably be cheaper to buy new Blackhawks than marinise the Mk3/3a Merlins.

About 20 years ago Westlands acquired a Blackhawk with a view to building them under license, much as they did with the Wessex and Sea King's. Dunno if they still maintain the ability to build the Blackhawk. as an aside, I worked at Westlands for a while when they won a contract to supply Lynx to another foreign nation. The reason they won the contract is that the other helicopter company, Karman, couldn't supply parts/spares in enough quantities to satisfy the customer. So the Yanks may have the Helo's but spares supply is another story!
 

dacalri

Newbie
Sea King 4 & Merlin

The question marks over the Merlin etc seem to have been answered. Junglies are due to get the Merlin mk3 from the crabs with the intention of eventually upgrading/marinising it to become a mk4. This will be a replacement for the Sea King 4, which will see it's demise by 2016. We will all be sad to see her go!! :cry:
 

dacalri

Newbie
The mighty Sea King

I don't think there is any doubt at all the Sea King in all forms/mk's etc is an awesome machine, having seen first hand the mighty green king in all climates, operations that she will always be the dearest to me!!!
 
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