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RAF Merlin HC3

From Academic Kids

The RAF Merlin HC3 is a medium support helicopter of the Royal Air Force. It is a variant of the AgustaWestland EH101 helicopter.

The Merlin was originally developed as a bilateral project between Italy and the United Kingdom. Its main role in service with those nations is as an anti-submarine helicopter operating off ships. However, the RAF found a need for a medium transport and utility helicopter to supplement its existing fleet, and the Merlin fitted the bill.

22 were ordered by the RAF and they entered squadron service at the beginning of the 21st century. The HC3 serves No. 28 Squadron RAF, which is based at RAF Benson. The type breaks new ground for the RAF in being equipped with an inflight refuelling capability.

The first operational deployment was to the Balkans in early 2003.

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