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    NEWS | AgustaWestland Crowsnest Merlin

    Merlin Crowsnest AEW Delayed

    The Royal Navy new Airborne Early Warning (AEW) Merlin Crowsnest helicopter for the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers is now expected to reach initial operational capability (IOC) in September 2021


    Merlin Crowsnest AEW Delayed

    Helis, July 20, 2020 - The Crowsnest Airborne Early Warning (AEW) program of the Royal Navy was delayed at least three months after the helicopter Merlin HM2 loaned by the Royal Navy to Leonardo for flight trials was left out in the rain.

    Leonardo was loaned a second Merlin to get the project going again at MoD Boscombe Down. A spokesman for the Yeovil company has said it "regrets the incident".

    First announced in 2015, a £269M contract was awarded in 2017 to prime contractor Lockheed Martin UK to procure 10 pod radars from Thales to be used by standard Merlin HM2 helicopters.

    According a recent report by the UK National Audit Office (NAO) the initial operational capability (IOC) of the Royal Navy Merlin Crowsnest helicopter will face an 18 month delay.

    The IOC which was initially planned for March 2020 is now expected by September 2021. The Full Operational Capability (FOC) was also moved from June 2022 to May 2023.

    The Crowsnest is intended to be a vital part of the new British aircraft carriers air wing providing Airborne Early Warning (AEW) and surveillance and control to the fleet.

    The first of such ships, HMS Queen Elizabeth, will be conducting her first operational deployment in 2021 when will sail to the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf and the Pacific with some 24 F-35B Lightning II STOVL Joint Strike Fighters (including some US Marine Corps aircraft) and support helicopters.

    This article is listed in :
    AgustaWestland Crowsnest Merlin
    See also Royal Navy Announced Crowsnest Contract
    Boscombe Down



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