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EH101 Merlin  
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1998
Total Production: 86
Unitary Cost: USD$80 million
Also Known As: Commando Merlin Mk4, MCH101, Merlin HM MK1 and Merlin HM MK2
Origin: Italy and United Kingdom
Corporations: Leonardo Helicopters
Parent System: AW101
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1998
Total Production: 192
Total Cost: USD$9.3 billion
Family Members: EH101, EH101 Cormorant and US101
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Description: The EH101 is a long range, medium lift helicopter designed to perform a wide range of missions. The EH101 has been designed to perform naval warfare missions (ASW and ASuW), search and rescue (SAR), and military utility missions. The EH101 helicopter is powered by three engines (RTM322 or T700), has a five-blade main rotor, integrated sub-systems, single pilot full glass cockpit, and can be armed with four torpedoes or two long range anti-ship missiles. It features reduced life cycle costs, maintainability, and high reliability due to its three turboshaft engines. Merlin helicopters provide day/night, all-weather conditions operation with an maximum flight endurance of five hours.

The first EH101 helicopter entered service in 2000. It has been selected by the United Kingdom, Italy, Janan, Denmark and Canada with more than 180 aircraft ordered to date. The Royal Navy EH101 helicopters will operate from Horizon-class, type 22 and type 23 frigates, type 45 destroyers, Invincible, CVF aircraft carriers as well as various types of amphibious assault ships. Besides, a EH101 derivative for the civilian markets has also been offered.

The EH101 Merlin is an Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) helicopter. It can be armed with four torpedoes (Sting Ray or other type) or two anti-ship missiles. It features a dipping sonar, BAe System's Blue Kestrel search radar, and Kestrel ESM. In addition to the ASW and ASuW capabilities, it can perform search and rescue, airborne early warning, and marine patrol missions. Merlin HM MK1 is the Royal Navy designation for the EH101 Merlin helicopter. It replaced Sea King helicopters beginning in 1998 and achieving initial operational capability (IOC) in 2000. Italy has ordered eight ASW Merlin helicopters and 4 in the airborne early warning configuration. Royal Navy's EH101s were equipped with a new EO/IR sensor mounted on a weapon carriage pylon on the side of the helicopter provided by Lockheed-Martin from October 2004. The EO/IR surveillance sensor will give accurate, real-time information and positive identification against small, elusive targets.

The Japan Defense Agency (JDA) ordered 14 EH101s in 2003 for the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) to replace aging MH-53E and S-61 helicopters under the MCH-X program. These helicopters were produced and supported locally by Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI). Helicopters deliveries to JDA will begin in early 2006. AgustaWestland announced that the first EH101 ordered by Japan, dubbed KHI-01, completed its maiden flight on 15 February 2005. The first production helicopter powered by three RTM322 Mk250 engines was handed over to the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) March 3, 2006. Japanese EH101s are called the MCH101 and provide transportation, Airborne Mine Counter Measure (AMCM) and Antarctic support capabilities. MCH101 designation emphasizes the airborne mine counter measures role of these aircraft.

In early January 2006, the UK MoD awarded Lockheed Martin UK a £750 million modernization contract on behalf of the Royal Navy's Merlin HM MK1 aircraft. The contract was aimed at providing state-of-the-art technology to 30 Merlin MK1 helicopters with eight more on option. Its target tracking capability is expected to be 40 times greater after undergoing upgrade. Hydraulic actuators will be replaced by new ones utilizing a fly by wire system. The modernization work would begin in 2010 with the first upgraded helicopter achieving IOC by 2013. Overall, this modernization program will extend Royal Navy's Merlin aircraft service life through 2029-2030.

In early March 2006 the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) awarded the Integrated Merlin Operational Support (IMOS) contract to AgustaWestland. IMOS contract provides logistics support for Royal Navy's EH101 Merlin HM Mk.1 and Royal Air Force Merlin HC Mk.3 helicopter fleets for a 25-year period. The initial contract was valued at £450 million covering the first five years. This initiative was called to increase Merlin availability while delivering support costs savings of approximately £1 billion through to the type out of service date planned for 2029 (Mk.1)/2030 (Mk.3). The Royal Marines took deliver of the first Commando Merlin Mk4 helicopter out of 25 on May 24, 2018

EH101 Merlin Applications

Auxiliary Vessels Clyde Forth Fighting Ships Albion Conte di Cavour FREMM ASW FREMM GP Galicia Horizon Izumo Johan de Witt Ocean Queen Elizabeth Type 23 Type 45

EH101 Merlin Specifications

Crew: 3
Main Rotor Blades: 5
Number of Engines: 3
Troops: 30
Height: 6.62 meter (21.7 foot)
Length: 19.5 meter (64 foot)
Main Rotor Diameter: 18.6 meter
Width: 4.52 meter
Ceiling: 4,572 meter (15,000 foot)
Max Range: 1,000 kilometer (540 nautical mile)
Max Power at TakeOff: 6,810 shp (5,080 kW)
Cruise Speed: 77 mps (278 kph)
Top Speed at High Altitude: 86 mps (167 KTAS)
Flight Endurance: 5 hour (0.21 day)
Empty Weight: 9,080 kilogram (20,018 pound)
Max Takeoff Weight: 14,600 kilogram (32,187 pound)
Payload: 5,520 kilogram (12,169 pound)
CEP: Circular Error Probable
Meters (m)   Kilometers (km)   Nautic Miles (nm)   Inch (in)   Yard (yd)   Foot (ft)   Millimeter (mm)
Pound (lb)   Kilogram (kg)   kN (KiloNewton)   Ton (t)
Meters per Second (mps)   Kilometers per Hour (kph)   Knot (kt)   Miles per Hour (mph)
Liter (l)   Galon (gl)
Year (yr)   Minutes (min)   Second (sec)
Shaft-Horse-Power (shp)

EH101 Merlin News

There are 34 news between
22 Sep 2003 and 26 Apr 2019
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Friday, April 26, 2019Polish Navy to Get Four AW101 Maritime Multirole Helicopters
Thursday, May 24, 2018First ComMando Merlin Mk4 Helicopter Delivered to UK Royal Marines
Monday, January 16, 2017Royal Navy Aircraft Carriers to Deploy Crowsnest Helicopter Surveillance System
Monday, November 21, 2016Royal Navy AW101 Merlin Mk4 Makes its Maiden Flight
Thursday, July 28, 2016UK MoD Takes Delivery of 30th Merlin Mk2 Helicopter
Tuesday, September 15, 2015Royal Navy's Merlin MK2 Helicopter Achieves Full Operational Capability
Friday, May 22, 2015Royal Navy Unveils Crowsnest Surveillance System for Future Aircraft Carriers
Thursday, March 26, 2015AgustaWestland and UK MoD Sign Latest Integrated Merlin Operational Support Contract
Tuesday, March 10, 2015Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Takes Delivery of MCH101 Airborne Mine Counter Measures Helicopter
Monday, July 14, 2014Merlin Mk2 Submarine Hunting Helicopter Enter Service with Royal Navy

Operators & Related Equipment

Aug 200921
Aircraft (4) ordered in April 2019
United Kingdom69
In January 2014 the UK MoD ordered 25 Royal Air Force EH101 aircraft to be converted into AW101 Merlin helicopters (Commando Merlin Mk4) for operation by the Royal Navy as SH-3 Sea King replacement. These aircraft will be added to the 42 existing EH101 Merlin between 2017 and 2020.
202067Merlin Mk1
201730Merlin Mk2
201630Mk2 (30)
201542Mk1 (12) and Mk2 (30)
201438Mk1 (33) and Mk2 (5)
201242Merlin Mk1

Grand Total 1114
Defensive Weapons
Sting Rayx4
Offensive Weapons
Marte Mk2/Sx2
Propulsion Systems
RTM322-02/8 Mk250x3
Protection Systems
Sensor Systems
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