Safran wins six-year support contract for Royal Navy’s Merlin helicopters

©UK Ministry of Defence

Safran Helicopter Engines has inked a deal with the Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) agency of the British Ministry of Defence to continue supporting the RTM 322 engines used in the Royal Navy’s fleet of 55 AW101 Merlin helicopters.  

The six-year contract, classified as a “Single Source Qualifying Defence Contract,” will come into effect in April 2024 and have options for extension until the Merlin fleet’s retirement in 2040. 

“For eleven years, Safran Helicopter Engines has regularly exceeded the objectives set for engine availability, with an emphasis on reliability and parts availability,” the manufacturer said in a statement. “This new agreement will extend this agile and results-oriented approach, allowing rapid adaptation to operational demands, while maximizing engine availability.” 

The ongoing support contract will continue to be managed from Safran Helicopter Engines’ facilities in Fareham, UK, where the maintenance, technical support, and logistical support team operate. They will liaise with operational units of the Royal Navy, who will also benefit from representatives at Yeovilton and Culdrose bases. 

The AW101 Merlin helicopter is a medium-lift helicopter developed by Leonardo (formerly AgustaWestland) for military and civil purposes. The British Royal Navy uses the Merlin helicopter in two versions: the MK2, featuring enhanced sensors and employed in maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare roles, and the MK4, for troop transport by the Royal Marines. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts


Stay updated on aviation and aerospace - subscribe to our newsletter!