AW EH-101 Merlin, Development, Variants and Projects

Hi,

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1997/1997%20-%200676.html
 

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Thanks for the link.

Before clicking on the link i knew by the looks of the lump under the merlin that its picture of a possible replacment for the Seaking AEWs. But after clicking the link saw it was an article from 1997! So where are they? What happened? What went wrong? Was it just because upgrades to the SeaKings was cheaper? Soppose that makes sence too.

The Harrier on that page is interesting too.
 
Kokoro said:
Before clicking on the link i knew by the looks of the lump under the merlin that its picture of a possible replacment for the Seaking AEWs. But after clicking the link saw it was an article from 1997! So where are they? What happened? What went wrong?

Well, the AEW Merlin didn't proceed (or rather hasn't proceeded yet), but even if it had we wouldn't expect to see it in service for another five years or more. You have to look at the whole requirement, not simply the possibility and the Future Organic Airborne Early Warning programme (FOAEW, later Maritime Airborne Surveillance and Control, MASC) was intended for the CVF/Queen Elizabeth class carriers, not the Invincibles (along with the FCBA/JCA -- the F-35) and the CVFs aren't due in service until around 2016 at earliest, with first steel cut barely a month ago. The serious contenders for FOAEW were Merlin, E-2C and what would probably have been called the EV-22. The proposals for podded AEW systems on Sea Harriers (http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=1442.msg36614) were more a wildcard than a serious contender. The MASC programme is discussed here: http://navy-matters.beedall.com/masc.htm
 
Apparently Whitehall also announced the future Helicopter strategy for the Fleet Air Arm on the day they announced the Chinook fleet increase.

At the same time, Whitehall also announced a major shake-up of all its helicopter assets which will see some substantial changes for the Fleet Air Arm:

- All variants of the venerable Sea King – celebrating its 40th birthday this year – will be out of service two years earlier than planned in 2016.
-The ‘jungly’ Sea King role, carried out by the Yeovilton-based Commando Helicopter Force, will be performed instead by Merlin Mk3s, transferred from the RAF to the Fleet Air Arm (the RAF crews will re-train to fly Chinooks).
-The Airborne Surveillance and Control mission, performed by aplomb by Culdrose-based ‘Bagger’ Sea Kings currently deployed in Afghanistan, will be carried out by modified Merlin Mk1s.
-The Search and Rescue mission, carried out at HMS Gannet and by 771 NAS in Culdrose, will be carried out by a new helicopter under a PFI initiative between the MOD and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency which is looking to overhaul the country’s SAR organisation.

No decision has yet been taken on the future home of the CHF Merlin force, but all 62 Wildcats – and Whitehall is looking at buying eight more to replace the battlefield Lynx, due out of service in 2018 – will be based at RNAS Yeovilton.]

Navy News 16/12/2009

So the FAA finally get the Merlin HC3 to replace the Junglys, but by taking the 2nd hand RAF fleet, and the AEW Merlin will be using existing MH1 ASW airframes that wont be upgraded to the MH2 standard.

G
 
Good idea!!!
While on station near a CV, it could still do SAR.
AugustaWestland and Thales presented the conceptual design of an AW101 ‘Merlin’ based Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASaC), positioned to replace the Sea King Mk7 ASaC currently operated by the Royal Navy.
[...]
A cutaway showing the two consoles of the Cerberus and AEW mission systems, along with the Thales Searchwater shown in the stored position. Once the AW101 ASaC is airborne, the radar is extracted and positioned to cover 360 degrees, unobstructed by the helicopter.
Source: http://www.defence-update.net/wordpress/20100713_aw101_asac.html
 

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Unfortunately, it's future is not assured under the current crowd.
 
Here's an interesting image of an early EH 101 with the Blue Kestral radar fitted in a chin radome and looking like the antenna was quite a bit taller than when built. Stumbled across this in a book about post war RN frigates.
 

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Early in it's development, wasn't it intended to have the ASW torpedoes in a under fuselage "bomb bay"?
 
JohnR said:
Early in it's development, wasn't it intended to have the ASW torpedoes in a under fuselage "bomb bay"?


That's right John.
 
Another detail borrowed from the WG.34 ?
 
A drawing of the early layout of the EH-101 (from vertflite January/February 1985)
 

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With colors is better,thank you my dear Jemiba.
 
The British MOD is set to select soon the future Airborne Early Warning (AEW) system to be deployed on the future Royal Navy (RN) Queen Elizabeth II aircraft carriers.
Link: http://defense-update.com/20150208_crowsnest.html#.VNedbJiG8-l
 
Here is a good website for the latest on Merlin, Crowsnest and lots of other UK projects -
http://ukarmedforcescommentary.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Crowsnest
 
So Lockheed Martin UK has to integrate the radar of their competitor instead of the own proposal. :eek:
The MOD and Lockheed Martin UK, as the prime contractor for Crowsnest, have selected Thales as the chosen bidder to provide the radar and mission system at the heart of the Crowsnest capability.
Links:
http://www.janes.com/article/51627/thales-selected-to-provide-crowsnest-mission-fit
http://www.flugrevue.de/militaerluftfahrt/kampfflugzeuge-helikopter/crowsnest-eh101-mit-thales-radar-ausgewaehlt/628926
 

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hesham said:
hesham said:
Hi,

the lastest configuration for EH-101 as anti-submarine helicopter
in 1980.

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1980/1980%20-%202745.html

That was early WG.31 concept.

I wasn't able to positively identify this design as WG.31 during research for The Admiralty and the Helicopter.
Its possible, but its just as likely it could have been an early Anglo-Italian co-design as the design teams began to search for a compromise design.
 
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/poland-to-acquire-aw101-helicopters-for-anti-submari-457305/
 
Slightly digressing to urgent global health crisis ...the Aeronautic Militare Italiana are using their HH-101 Cesar for the purposes of medevac corona patients with ifnectios control biohazard hazmat medical interior module.


334C9522-7105-4406-9B86-89934CA503D9.jpeg 36226155-B514-442C-817B-7198158DB69F.jpeg 595FC4FA-E46D-4156-9512-A06DB7816C1A.jpeg

Best wishes to medical staff around the globe combating this and rip to those who have died as result be it patients or medical staff. Hopefully with curfews around should slow spread.

Cheers
 
There is a row brewing both here (Southern Ireland) and over in Britain over flights to hot zones not being shut down. :mad:
 
Only one customer Tokyo Metropolitan Police and am led to believe it’s been retired.
Regarding that example:


I have come across some information that suggests at least one of the abortive Indian Air Force examples was converted to, and redesignated as, a Model 510 / Mk. 510, but I am not sure how accurate this information is.
 
Whatever happened to the civil variant of the Merlin?

Only one customer Tokyo Metropolitan Police and am led to believe it’s been retired.

And the Heliline prototype which was also involved in BERP IV is In RAF Museum Hendon

cheers
There's actually a few VVIP AW-101 out there though....all very discreet. Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Nigeria, Indonesia and Turkmenistan all operate them...
 
Whatever happened to the civil variant of the Merlin?

Only one customer Tokyo Metropolitan Police and am led to believe it’s been retired.

And the Heliline prototype which was also involved in BERP IV is In RAF Museum Hendon

cheers
There's actually a few VVIP AW-101 out there though....all very discreet. Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Nigeria, Indonesia and Turkmenistan all operate them...

i know that I thought he meant the Heliliner

cheers
 
Whatever happened to the civil variant of the Merlin?

And the Heliline prototype which was also involved in BERP IV is In RAF Museum Hendon

cheers
Here 'tis. Always thought it's a little out of place at Hendon, should be at the Helicopter Museum at Weston-super-Mare.
 

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The IPA report rates programmes from “green” to “red”. A red rating means “successful delivery appears unachievable”, with issues such as “cost, budget, quality and/or benefits delivery, which do not appear to be manageable or resolvable”.
“Amber/green” ratings mean success is “probable” but requires “constant attention”, “amber” denotes a project is “feasible but has significant issues”, while “amber/red” signals “successful delivery of the project is in doubt, with major risks or issues key areas”.
The IPA put a red warning on two projects, Ajax and the long-delayed Crowsnest early warning radar, fitted to helicopters to protect the Navy’s new aircraft carriers.
 
How does EH101 Merlin hot-and-high performance compare with contemporaries: CH-47 Chinook, NH-60, Puma, UH-60, Westland Commando, etc. ?
I am especially curious about how well it flies in Afghan Mountains.
 
So I suspect the answer is that EH-101 is capable of accomplishing "hot/high" tasks just as other helicopters. However all of them have restrictions. The CH-47 has the power available TO DO THE H-60 MISSION in the mountains. Significantly less than the CH-47 can do at "Standard Day' conditions. The percentage of its lifting power the EH-101 has at a specified condition will mark it as better/worse. So if the EH-101 could move a squad into the mountains, where a Puma, Blackhawk or NH-90 could not, it can meet a critical mission.
Probably a blinding flash of the obvious, and not the answer to the question. I'm interested in the answer as well now.
 
Last edited:
I was looking into the AW101 and it seems there's a whole range of weight/payload figures for it. It's hard to tell which is the right one.
For example, some brochures mention internal load is just 3 tons. Other say its 6 tons. Some brochures say sling load is 2.5 tons, others say it's 5.4 tons.
MTOW weight is also a mystery. Some brochures say it's 14.6 tons while others say it's 15.6 tons.

Then there's empty weight. Pretty much everywhere empty weight is claimed at 10.5 tons. But usually some specialized variant is quoted alongside those figures.

What I am looking for is empty weight of a pure transport variant, like HC3 variant.

Certainly 10.5 ton empty weight for helicopter with mtow of 15.6 tons (let alone 14.6 tons!) just doesn't ring true. For special mission configurations - maybe. But for transport variant, it just sounds weird. Even decades older helicopters could do a better empty/mtow weight ratios than that.

So, to sum it up, is there a definitive source on HC3 or any other *transport* variant of AW101 out there, which gives out precise weight and payload figures?
 
This may sound daft but, as a non pilot it's struck me it may have relevance. How do all these weight claims relate to the ability to auto rotate on power loss? I understand slung loads can be dumped quickly but hot and high (Like in Afghanistan etc) I can se it being quite important.
 
What I am looking for is empty weight of a pure transport variant, like HC3 variant.
The original EH-101 was advertised with a 8,600kg basic empty weight, or 9,300kg equipped in civilian Heliliner or military utility version. MTOW 14,600kg.

The equipped RAF/RN versions were heavier, 10,300kg (RAF HC3) or 10,500kg (RN HM1). Canada’s SAR Cormorants were similar, ~10,100kg equipped.

Newer AW101 with the increased MTOW of 15,600kg are slightly heavier than the original EH-101s. Over 11,000kg equipped for the Norwegian SAR birds. The utility version should be around 9,600kg empty equipped, extrapolating from the brochure’s payload range diagram.
 

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