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Merlin Helicopters

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 22 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the trials which will allow RAF Merlin helicopters to land on naval ships are expected to be complete. (77608)

[holding answer 15 June 2006]: Trials are being carried out into the feasibility of extending the operating capability of the RN Merlin Mk1 helicopters from Carrier Vertical Striker (CVS) platforms (HM Ships Illustrious and Ark Royal). Information from these trials will also be used to assess the feasibility of operating RAF Merlin helicopters from naval platforms.

There is no fixed completion date for these trials.