AgustaWestland Merlin HC.3i in
united kingdom Fleet Air Arm

Del'd: 7 - 2015 to present

Fleet Air Arm Merlin HC.3i

While preparations continue for the transfer of the entire Merlin HC.3/3A fleet from the RAF to the Fleet Air Arm HC.4 in a fully marinised form, an agreement was reached with AgustaWestland to partially marinise 7 HC.3 airframes as the FAA Sea King HC.4 fleet was running down to withdrawal on 31 Mar 2016.

The interim HC.3 or iHC.3 will be fitted with an automatically folding rotor head, a strengthened undercarriage with longer travel for deck operations, steel deck-mooring points and an avionics upgrade to bring it closer to the HM.2 model already in FAA service.

The first iHC.3 flew from Yeovil in Apr 2015. The remaining 6 examples are due for delivery by 1 Apr 2016.

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Royal Navy Merlin Deployed Aboard French Mistral, 05-Apr-17 : For the first time, two Merlins helicopters from Royal Navy 845 NAS are assigned to the French assault ship Mistral throughout her six-month deployment to the Indian and Pacific Oceans

846 Squadron Female Pilot Named in Awards, 17-Jun-16 : Royal Navy 846 Naval Air Squadron Junglie Merlin pilot Lieutenant Natalie Grainger named one of the country’s top 100 rising stars in the female-only We Are The City awards.

Royal Marines Merlin iMk3 Aboard HMS Ocean, 29-Mar-16 : Transferred from the RAF, the green Merlins HC.3i (interim) of 846 Naval Air Squadron joined Britain’s flagship HMS Ocean for amphibious training. They replaced the recently retired Junglie Sea King

First Upgraded Merlin HC.3 to Royal Navy, 19-Oct-15 : The first of seven upgraded AW101 Merlin HC Mk3 helicopters were delivered to the Royal Navy as part of Phase 1 of the Merlin Life Sustainment Programme (MLSP).

Royal Navy Received Interim Merlin iMk3, 14-Oct-15 : Royal Navy 846 Naval Air Squadron received first of 7 next-generation Merlin iMk3, ‘i’ for interim, which will carry Royal Marines into battle until reception of the final HC.4 late 2017


YearsUnitsbold : Current base of the Unit
2015/now846 NAS RNAS Yeovilton
RAF Benson
2015/now845 NAS RNAS Yeovilton
RAF Benson
RNAS Yeovilton


LH Ocean class

Construction Numbers Help Us

C/NBuiltID     In this OrganisationIn other Org

    50049 1999     ZJ118: hc.3i Nov15 HC.3i type asg 846Sqn
Royal Air Force ZJ118: RAF 50049/RAF02 f/f 14jun99 at Yeovil

2007 28 Sqn /B
    50099 2000     ZJ121: hc.3i HC.3i type; 10jan16 visit to Gibraltar, with ZJ129.
Royal Air Force ZJ121: RAF; 2007 28Sqn./E

19nov13 pictured (top) at Yeovil
    50141 2000     ZJ126: hc.3i Apr15 HC.3i type asg 846Sqn
Royal Air Force ZJ126: RAF 50141/RAF10 in June 2009 /K 28/78Sqn.
    50167 2001     ZJ129: hc.3i HC.3I type; 10jan16 visit to Gibraltar with ZJ121.
Royal Air Force ZJ129: RN; 01may05 pictured as 28Sqn /N at Abingdon

2007 28Sqn./N
    50169 2001     ZJ130: hc.3i 02jul16 pictured (pic2) as 846Sq /O at RNAS Yeovilton during+
Royal Air Force ZJ130: RAF; 2007 28Sqn./O

28/78 Sq/O by Oct 2009. Part of 1st detachment of RAF M+

21jul13 pictured (pic1) as /O at RIAT 2013 RAF Fairford
    50173 2001     ZJ131: hc.3i final Merlin delivered from RAF Benson to 845 NAS at Yeovilt+
Royal Air Force ZJ131: RAF Merlin HC.3 28Sqn./P; 11may07 pictured at Elwood H+

1419 Flt /P by Jun 2009; returned to UK to MDMF Culdros+
    50177 2001     ZJ132: hc.3i Royal Navy HC3i; 30jun17 /Q RNAS Yeovilton
Royal Air Force ZJ132: RAF Merlin HC.3; 06may12 pictured at Abingdon Air Show
    50187 2001     ZJ135: hc.3i 02jul16 pictured (pic2) as 846Sq /T at RNAS Yeovilton during+
Royal Air Force ZJ135: RAF HC.3; 27aug09 pictured (pic1) at RAF Benson
    50191 2001     ZJ136: hc.3i Dec15 HC.3i type asg 846Sqn
Royal Air Force ZJ136: RAF HC.3 d/d 29apr02

23may11 pictured as /U at RAF Benson.
    50195 2002     ZJ137: hc.3i Jan16 HC.3i type asg 846Sqn
Royal Air Force ZJ137: RAF 50195/RAF21.; 2003 28Sqn./W

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