Filmed by our friend Dafydd Phillips, the cool video in this post features Royal Netherlands Navy NH90 and Royal Navy AW101 Merlin helicopters in the Mach Loop.
‘It’s been a long time since I last captured an AW101 Merlin in the Loop and to cap it off a Royal Netherlands Navy NH90 dropped by to say hello,’ Phillips says.
The AgustaWestland AW101 is a medium-lift helicopter in military and civil use. First flown in 1987, it was developed by a joint venture between Westland Helicopters in the United Kingdom and Agusta in Italy in response to national requirements for a modern naval utility helicopter. Several operators, including the armed forces of Britain, Denmark, and Portugal, use the name Merlin for their AW101 aircraft. It is manufactured at factories in Yeovil, England and Vergiate, Italy; licensed assembly work has also taken place in Japan and the United States.
The Royal Navy’s AW101 Merlin helicopters are now being used to help protect the UK’s carrier strike capability and the surrounding seas – ensuring the ship and its crew are well protected from enemy submarines, surface ships, aircraft and missiles.
The NHIndustries NH90 is a medium-sized, twin-engine, multi-role military helicopter. It was developed in response to NATO requirements for a battlefield helicopter which would also be capable of being operated in naval environments. The NH90 was developed and is manufactured by NHIndustries, a collaborative company owned by Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo (formerly AgustaWestland) and Fokker Aerostructures. The first prototype conducted its maiden flight in December 1995; the type first entered operational service in 2007. As of June 2022, the NH90 has logged 327,053 flight hours in the armed forces of thirteen countries.
The Royal Netherlands Navy fields the NFH (NATO Frigate Helicopter) model of the NH-90. The NH90 NFH variant is primarily designed for autonomous Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) missions. The intrinsic characteristics and comprehensive mission equipment packages allow an unequalled range of additional operations: Search and Rescue (SAR), maritime patrol, vertical replenishment, troop transport, medical services and “Utility” roles.
The helicopter is designed for day & night/adverse weather/severe ship motion environment operations. Due to its weight and dimensions, the deck-lock system, the deck traversing system and the automatic blade and tail folding system, it can operate from/to small Frigates.
Photo credit: Dafydd Phillips
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