Leonardo Helicopters announced the first Merlin Mk4 helicopter completed its maiden flight on 24th October.
The company is upgrading 25 Royal Navy’s Merlin Mk3/3A aircraft to Merlin Mk4/4A standard as part of the Merlin Life Sustainment Programme (MLSP) contract. The January 2014 contract is valued at £330 million. Deliveries of aircraft will occur 2017-2020.
The aircraft are fitted with the same cockpit as the Royal Navy’s Merlin Mk2 aircraft, giving the fleet a common cockpit featuring five 10” x 8” display units, two touch screen units for controlling the aircraft’s systems and mission equipment, as well as two cursor control devices.
The Merlin Mk4 and Mk4A aircraft will be supported through the existing Integrated Merlin Operational Support (IMOS) contract.