UK MoD Studying Merlin as an Early Airborne Warning Platform


Released on Tuesday, May 9, 2006
United Kingdom
EH101 Merlin
F-35B Lightning II
Queen Elizabeth
SH-3 Sea King
CVF - Carrier, Vehicular, Future
MASC - Maritime Airborne Surveillance and Control
MoD - Ministry of Defence
UK - United Kingdom
Lockheed Martin UK has been awarded a contract by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to study the potential of using Merlin helicopters as a platform for both maritime airborne early warning and command and control.

Under the 15-month program, Lockheed Martin will lead a three-way team which will include Thales UK and AgustaWestland. The overall study, with a total value of £3.4 million, includes two more contracts which will see AgustaWestland and Thales UK each leading similar teams looking at other airframe and mission system options.

All three contracts are part of the Maritime Airborne Surveillance and Control (MASC) program. MASC is the third component of the UK's future carrier strike capability and will work with the future aircraft carrier (CVF) and the Joint Strike Fighter to provide airborne early warning and command and control capabilities.

MASC will replace the current Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control capability, with increased emphasis on command and control functions as the Royal Navy develops its Network Enabled Capability.

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