To celebrate 25 years of partnership between Lockheed Martin and the British Navy for the Merlin program, an anniversary event was held at Her Majesty's Naval Base, Portsmouth, the company said. Past and present members of the program came together to swap stories of what became a $3.2-billion program.
The original contract was signed in October 1991, with a sustainment program that upgraded and enhanced the Mk2 added on in 2001. Called the Merlin Capability Sustainment Program (MCSP), it also involved Leonardo (then AgustaWestland) with design, development and manufacture.
The Merlin Mk2 is primarily designed for open water, or “blue water,” operations. But, it can also be used in operations on the shoreline, or “brown water” operations. The rotorcraft is made for anti-submarine warfare, and has search and rescue, troop transport, vertical replenishment and casualty evacuation capabilities.
Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin