Home Sea HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Merlin helicopters to exercise with US Navy
A Merlin approaches HMS Queen Elizabeth.

HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Merlin helicopters to exercise with US Navy


820 Naval Air Squadron are sending helicopters to the Atlantic Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre, to take part in tactical development and training alongside their colleagues from the US Navy say the Royal Navy.

According to a release, the aircrew, normally based at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall, will be honing their Anti-Submarine Warfare skills and polishing their tactics for Carrier Strike Task Group operations.

According to the Royal Navy:

“820 NAS is the Royal Navy’s oldest and most decorated frontline unit and is made up of roughly 150 men and women – a highly skilled mix of flight crew and engineers.

The Merlin Mk2 is a vastly capable aircraft, with its primary role being for anti-submarine warfare, although it can protect HMS Queen Elizabeth and her task group from a range of sub-surface, surface and air attacks.

Recent years have seen them operate in the Middle East and off the west coast of Africa during the Ebola crisis.”

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Steve Taylor

I remember the first time I saw Merlin. It still impresses today.

We should have bought more.


Great aircraft!


should have bought more of everything but one we don,t have the money as we give it away to things that are not really in the taxpayers interest and two we don,t have the manpower as governments treat our troops and veterans with contempt


(Chris H) – we apparently just found $3.5 Bn to buy 16 Chinooks and spares so we do have the money. IMHO the question is why do we keep spending what we do have with foreign companies. Yes we need to replace older airframes in the 60 x Chinooks we have but we also need to buy more Merlins. And as always the money we spend in Yeovil will mostly be recycled back into the UK economy unlike in Boeing Boeing do appear to have us by the proverbials … 50 x AH64E (or is it 38?) that should have… Read more »

Cam hunter

Unfortunately it’s 38 new apaches! We did have 60 odd! And the p-8 numbers are a joke and the Americans feel they have to base some in Scotland to make up for the numbers!! Even though the government has been advised it needs atleast 7 more p-8s to make it worth while! And the E-7 wedge tail should have been up for competition just like all our aircraft!… it’s a total joke…


It may all be worth it if the USN license-builds 20+ Type 26 Frigates, wouldn’t it?

Anthony D

It really doesn’t work like that.


Boeing may have us by the proverbials, but they seem to be about to invest millions in Boscombe Down with a major AH64 and P8 servicing centre. That will create some 1500 new jobs at Boscombe Down alone with another 1200 posts apparently being created in other parts of the UK.


Cultivating stronger ties with Boeing is likely part of a deliberate government aerospace strategy. Whatever form Brexit takes Airbus commitment to the UK will diminish IMO.

John Clark

Until there’s a grudging acceptance in Government that Defence spending needs to rise to 3% of GDP there will be no real changes.

Any SDSR that’s straight jacketed to 2% will simply be re-organising the deck chairs on the Titanic.

The only way of increasing capability in one area is cutting another, as it currently stands….

Teaching 7 year olds about Transgender rights and other such Snowflake related issues is a higher govenment priority unfortunately….

Daniele Mandelli

Bang on John Clark.

I despair. Gentleman’s rolls in Waitrose have pissed people off. But strangely Granny Smith Apples have not….

John Clark

Daniele, give the snowflakes time, Granny Smith’s apples will become “gender fluid fruit”

I’m sure we won’t be able to refer to apples as apples soon, as they may not wish to be genome specific, or perhaps identify as a horse!


Great pic.

comment image



You can zoom it in for much better

P tattersall

We are now out spending russia on defence

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