12 thoughts on “Massive Rescue in the South Atlantic

  1. The RAF SAR flight down south is their last station now UK SAR has been privatised. The RAF Merlin’s have gone to the FAA for CHF. FAA Merlin numbers are a bit tight for ASW and soon to be CrowsNst The Puma isn’t up to job really and is on count down to decommission. The MoD are probably sitting on a mountain of spares for them. 🙂

    All in all we are short of helicopters. It would have been better if Merlin had been used for ASW and ASAC only considering QEC will be with us soon. And then a new airframe bought in to replace Puma, for CHF, and niche roles like SAR in the Falklands.

    • FAA (Fleet Air Arm–Chuck) have 8 stored Merlin HM1 that look like they’ll now go through the HM2 process boosting numbers. The Merlin HC variants going to the CHF is absolutely the right choice. It consolidates the entire Merlin fleet into one operator and simultaneously replaces SeaKing HC4.

      Puma’s aren’t on the way out as they’re just going through a whole fleet refurbishment to HC3 standard, the first of which have recently gone to Afghanistan.

      But we’re not short of Helicopters in most categories. We’ve got the second biggest fleet of Chinooks. Plus more than enough AH-64. We could arguably do with 10 more Merlin HM2, 6 Merlin HC4 and a further 30 Wildcat to replace the final Lynx. Not sure what will replace Puma HC3 eventually but that is now 15+ years away. Hopefully some sort of Tilt Rotor.

      The smart decision that keeps being ducked is to place helicopters where they should be. In short remove all rotary wing from the RAF and give to the AAC and FAA. Let the RAF concentrate on big or pointy jets.

  2. @ Lyle

    QEC was designed from the get go to support V-22, In many ways QEC as an asset will dovetail more into Gator Navy operations than fleet / strike carrier work.

    V22 would be a better platform for CrowsNest.

    If it had been up to me I would have designed QEC around E2 first and then I would have gone shopping for FJs second.

    • I think they should develop an AEW version of the V-22, I know the US would buy it. it would be more flexible than the E-2 since it could also operate from the WASP and its successors when operating in the sea control role.

      • And from Afloat Forward Staging Bases Like the Puller as well as LPDs and LSDs. There are lots of allied navies that might want to buy them as well. In addition to the UK, we might include Spain, Italy, Australia, Japan, and South Korea and maybe Brazil, Egypt, and Turkey, all of whom have or will have flat tops of substantial size.

      • Just one more thought looking at that graphic. You don’t quite get what a big whirleybird Merlin is until you see one in the metal………

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