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.
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
|Years||Units||bold : Current base of the Unit|
|2015/||846 NAS|| RNAS Yeovilton |
|2015/||845 NAS|| RNAS Yeovilton |
|LH Ocean class|
List of Aircraft
|C/N||Built||ID In this Organisation||In other Org|
|50049||1999|| ZJ118: hc.3i Nov15 HC.3i type asg 846Sqn|| ZJ118: RAF 50049/RAF02 f/f 14jun99 at Yeovil |
ZJ118: First visit to RAF Benson by Merlin HC.3, flown by A&AE+
ZJ118: 2007 28 Sqn /B
|50099||2000|| ZJ121: hc.3i HC.3i type; 10jan16 visit to Gibraltar, with ZJ129.|| ZJ121: RAF; 2007 28Sqn./E |
19nov13 pictured (top) at Yeovil
|50141||2000|| ZJ126: hc.3i Apr15 HC.3i type asg 846Sqn|| ZJ126: RAF 50141/RAF10 in June 2009 /K 28/78Sqn. |
31Jul14 pictured (pic2) with 78 Sq/K markings on std si+
|50167||2001|| ZJ129: hc.3i HC.3I type; 10jan16 visit to Gibraltar with ZJ121.|| ZJ129: RN; 01may05 pictured as 28Sqn /N at Abingdon |
|50169||2001|| ZJ130: hc.3i 02jul16 pictured (pic2) as 846Sq /O at RNAS Yeovilton during+|| ZJ130: 08mar03 HC.3 type 28Sqd./O at Rotterdam |
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+|| 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|| 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+|| ZJ135: RAF HC.3; 27aug09 pictured (pic1) at RAF Benson |
|50191||2001|| ZJ136: hc.3i Dec15 HC.3i type asg 846Sqn|| 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|| ZJ137: RAF 50195/RAF21.; 2003 28Sqn./W |