Following the UK MoD Merlin Capability Sustainment Programme (MCSP
) of the late 1990s, a contract was signed in Dec 2005 with a consortium led by Lockheed-Martin to upgrade 30 existing Royal Navy Merlin HM.1
to the new HM.2 standard. Amongst other things, the work includes a new mission software architecture, an upgrade to the navigation systems and the Blue Kestrel
radar plus new tactical displays and cockpit avionics suitable for use with night vision goggles. First flight of the HM.2 was on 30 Sep 2010 and initial operating capability was reached in May 2014.
First delivered to RNAS Culdrose for evaluation in September 2012. 30th and last one delivered on July 2016