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A Royal Air Force Merlin Helicopter Over Afghanistan

A Royal Air Force Merlin Helicopter Over Afghanistan


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A Royal Air Force Merlin Helicopter Over Afghanistan

A Royal Air Force Merlin helicopter is pictured on operations over Afghanistan.
The Merlin (Bird of prey) HC3 and HC3a are operated by No 28 (AC) Squadron and 78 Squadron at RAF Benson. 78 Squadron was re-formed on 3 Dec 07 to allow for the increase in aircraft after the purchase of the 6 Danish Merlin HC3a earlier in 2007.
The Merlin is the first of a new generation of advanced, medium support helicopters for the RAF. It is an all weather, day and night, multi-role helicopter used in both tactical and strategic operational roles.
The aircraft carries an impressive defensive-aids suite, which includes a Radar and Laser Warning Receiver, Missile Approach Warners and Directional Infrared Countermeasures equipment, all integrated with an automatic chaff and flare dispensing system. This is one of the most comprehensive defensive aids suites fitted to any helicopter in the world

The British Army protects the United Kingdom's interests at home and abroad, providing a safe and secure environment in which all British citizens can live and prosper

Media ID 15227356

© Crown Copyright

Afganistan Afghanistan Army Campaign Equipment Helicopter Helmand Herrick Merlin Operation Royal Air Force


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EDITORS COMMENTS
This print captures a Royal Air Force Merlin helicopter soaring through the skies over Afghanistan. Operated by No 28 (AC) Squadron and 78 Squadron at RAF Benson, this particular aircraft is part of the new generation of advanced, medium support helicopters for the RAF. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, the Merlin HC3 and HC3a are versatile machines capable of operating in all weather conditions, day or night. They play a crucial role in both tactical and strategic operations on the ground. What sets this helicopter apart is its impressive defensive-aids suite. Integrated with an automatic chaff and flare dispensing system, it includes a Radar and Laser Warning Receiver, Missile Approach Warners, and Directional Infrared Countermeasures equipment. This comprehensive suite makes it one of the most well-equipped helicopters in existence. The formation of 78 Squadron allowed for an increase in aircraft after acquiring six Danish Merlin HC3a earlier that year. With its powerful engines propelling it forward, this bird of prey gracefully carries out missions across Afghanistan's challenging terrain. Sgt Steve Blake RLC skillfully captured this momentous image showcasing not only the might of the Royal Air Force but also their commitment to protecting those on the ground during Operation Herrick in Helmand province.

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