16 Aug 2017

Merlin Mark 4 undertakes deck landing sea trials with RFA Argus

The recently upgraded Merlin Mark 4 has spent its first weeks at sea aboard aviation training ship RFA Argus. During the last month an operating manual has been drafted for the crews who will be operating the Royal Marines’ upgraded battlewagon over the next couple of decades.

Fleet Air Arm squadrons 845 and 846 have made the switch recently from Sea Kings to Merlin Mark 3s which were transferred across from the RAF. However, to provide optimum support for the Royal Marines the Mark 3s are being converted into Mark 4s which feature folding tail sections and rotor heads. This affords them greater flexibility and makes them ideally suited to operate from Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels.

RFA Argus’ principal role is to serve as a Primary Casualty Receiving Ship (PCRS). She has a fully equipped 100-bed medical complex on board, which can be uniquely tailored to deliver cutting-edge treatment afloat. The vessel is currently home to a Merlin Mark 2 and as such was deemed the perfect platform to undertake the sea trials for the Merlin Mark 4.

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