The Merlin is a medium support helicopter designed to operate away from base workshops and in difficult terrain. It is an all-weather, day and night, multi-role helicopter used in both tactical and strategic operational roles.
Its diverse range of bulky cargo carried internally or underslung can include artillery, Land Rovers or light-strike vehicles and more than five tonnes of freight. The aircraft carries an impressive defensive-aids suite, which includes a Radar and Laser Warning Receiver, Missile Approach Warners and Directional Infrared Countermeasures equipment, all integrated with an automatic chaff and flare dispensing system.
To ensure accurate navigation anywhere on the globe, the aircraft’s management computers take data from its laser-gyro, inertial-navigation platform and its doppler system and from air data sources, and combine the information with precise position data received from Global Positioning System satellites. Navigation at night is enhanced by the crew’s use of display night-vision goggles and by the aircraft’s multi-function turret, which can be fitted with forward-looking infrared radar.
To increase the aircraft’s range, the Merlin can be equipped with extended range fuel tanks. It is also fitted with an active vibration-damping system, which reduces the level of noise and vibration inside the cabin to a level no greater than that of a turboprop aircraft. As a result, crew fatigue is much reduced during long transits and airframe life is increased.
The spacious cabin can also accommodate up to 24 fully-equipped combat troops and, when required, will convert to carry 16 stretchers for casualty evacuation or during humanitarian and disaster relief operations.
The Merlin is armed with two general purpose machine guns.Speed 167kts Length 22.8m Altitude 15000ft Crew 4
All information courtesy of the RAF.