Air International 2017-06
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I.Harding - Eyes an Ears /Military/
Initial assessment phase testing ensured there were no gross effects on the Merlin flight profile with the radome attached.
All 30 Merlin HM2s in service modified and fit to receive the Crowsnest role kit, of which ten will be delivered.
The target is to achieve a nominal in-service date for Crowsnest by Q3 2019 with initial operating capability by Q2 2020 and full operating capability in 2022.
The Merlin HM2 continues to receive upgrades to enhance its capabilities in addition to Crowsnest. These include a new traffic avoidance system and updates to the defensive aids suite.
Crowsnest will support the UK’s new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning lls by providing long-range air, maritime and land detection.
Sea King ASaC7 XV655/85 landing aboard RFA Argus (A135) during deck training following return from Afghanistan in 2014.
The exercise schedule aboard RFA Argus included day/night missions, flight deck operations; take-off/landings, hover in-flight refuelling and approach work, shown here.
Crowsnest will replace the seven Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control Mk7 helicopters serving with 849 Naval Air Squadron, which are scheduled to be withdrawn from service during Q3 2018.
The solution being developed for Crowsnest is an updated and repackaged role-fit version of the Cerberus tactical sensor suite in service with the SKASaC.
Crowsnest will support the UK’s new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning lls by providing long-range air, maritime and land detection.