Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Merlin steps up during Kiel Week

Merlin steps up during Kiel Week
24 June 2016
A Merlin Mk 2 helicopter from 814 Naval Air Squadron – ‘The Flying Tigers’ – has spent a weekend on show to the German public at the annual Kiel Week, after a multinational exercise in the Baltic.

Embarked in HMS Ocean for Exercise Baltic Operations 2016 (BALTOPS), the Grey Maritime Merlin has proved itself; “a seriously capable aircraft,” said Lieutenant Max White. 

“Our core job is to hunt submarines, but the versatility of Merlin means that there aren't many jobs we can't be tasked to do.

Our core job is to hunt submarines, but the versatility of Merlin means that there aren't many jobs we can't be tasked to do

Lieutenant Max White, 814 Naval Air Squadron

Alongside other UK helicopters which included green Junglie Merlins from 845 NAS and Apaches attack helicopters from the Army Air Corps as well as Chinooks from the RAF; the Culdrose Merlin opened their doors as part of HMS Ocean’s ship open to visitors programme.

Lieutenant Sid Shaw, ‘the Flying Tigers’ Detachment Commander said, "Our Merlin Mk 2 is naturally at home at sea on HMS Ocean. We have achieved a very good high rate of success throughout BALTOPs 16; in fact we’ve clocked many more hours than planned. 

"I am incredibly proud of my small team of engineers and aircrew on board. It's also great honour to be part of the Kiel Celebrations with HMS Ocean. It has been both enlightening and enjoyable to interact with all the NATO countries at sea in a professional sense and ashore in a social sense."

Lieutenant Sid Shaw and his team will stay with HMS Ocean for her next exercise, where they will joined by the remainder of 814 NAS.

The squadron will practise their submarine hunting skills ready for operations with the Royal Navy's future aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. 

“Merlin and the Queen Elizabeth are the cutting edge of naval technology,” said Lieutenant Max White. “It’s amazing to think that one day we will be coming to places like Kiel in her with her deck full of Merlins and F35B Jets.”

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.