Aircraft Data Sheet: Merlin HM MK I (1989)

Merlin HM MK I
First flight: 24th October 1989
Rotor diameter: 18.59m/61ft 0ins
Length: 22.81m/74ft 10ins
Max weight: 14,288kg/31,500lb
Max speed: 309kph/167knots
Power: Three 2,100shp/1,565kW
Rolls Royce/Turbomeca RTM-322 turboshafts
Accommodation: Three crew
No Built: Nine prototypes of various configurations

The Merlin HM Mk1 is the UK maritime variant of the EH-101entering service with the Royal Navy. Intended as an ASW weapon system. At the time when selection of Prime Contractor was under review, it was not considered that Westland had sufficient financial resources to underwrite completion of the contract. The result was that prime contractorship was placed in the hands of IBM, subsequently passing over to Lockheed-Martin, leaving Westland/EHI to be a sub-contractor for their own aircraft!

The Merlin is probably the most advanced anti-submarine helicopter in the world, with a formidable array of fully integrated electronic processing, and it is capable of operating of small ships using a similar deck system to that employed for the Lynx. An initial order for 44 aircraft has been placed for the Royal Navy.