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Safran wins contract for support of Merlin helicopter engines

By Defence Industry Europe

Safran Helicopter Engines UK, a subsidiary of the French aerospace and defence conglomerate Safran, has signed a contract worth GBP 300 million to provide support for RTM322 engines, which equip 55 AW101 Merlin helicopters operated by the Royal Navy.

 

The UK Ministry of Defence (via Defence Equipment & Support, DE&S) announced that the contract will run until 2030.

According to the ministry, the agreement “will deliver an improved, flexible arrangement that optimises availability and grades success against agreed performance outputs, ensuring Merlin’s capability while carrying out its vital roles delivering UK maritime force protection, anti-submarine warfare, and amphibious medium lift capability.”

There are two types of Merlin helicopters currently in use by the Royal Navy.

 

 

The MK2 features enhanced radar and sonar systems, making it an effective submarine hunter. It is also utilised for maritime patrol, troop transport, casualty evacuation, search and rescue, and other contingency tasks.

Since being introduced in 2014, the Merlin MK2s have been deployed from various platforms across the Royal Navy, including Queen Elizabeth Class carriers, Daring Class destroyers, Duke Class frigates, and RFA vessels.

The other Merlin helicopter in service with the Royal Navy is the MK4, which has several modifications for use by the Royal Marines. These modifications include a fast-roping beam for the rapid deployment of Special Forces from the main cabin door.

 

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Safran Helicopter Engines is the world’s leading manufacturer of rotorcraft turbines, uniquely dedicated to this market. With a global presence, it employs 5,900 staff, serves over 2,500 customers in 155 countries, and has 21,000 engines currently in service.

 

 

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