Merlin Depth Maintenance Facility

Merlin Depth Maintenance Facility

Merlin Depth Maintenance Facility (MDMF) is located at RNAS Culdrose, Helston, Cornwall, and is responsible for performing Depth Maintenace on EH101 Merlin helicopters [1] of both the Royal Navy, primarily based at RNAS Culdrose , and those of the Royal Air Force, primarily based at RAF Benson, Oxfordshire. MDMF is part of the Integrated Merlin Operational Support [2], a partnership between the UK Ministry of Defence, AgustaWestland, Serco and Lockheed Martin.

W3 hangar MDMF.
W3 hangar MDMF


Merlin Depth Maintenance

Depth maintenance is carried out on UK military aircraft on a schedule depending on aircraft type. For Merlin helicopters this is centred around a 2 year/600 flying hour cycle, and is carried out by military personnel from the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and civilians from Serco under the authority of JAPS [1]. MDMF is based upon a pulse line system, similar to a production line, that involves 9 phases, and each Merlin "pulses" through each phase in turn. The 9 phases are:

Cell 1 - Strip, all major components including gearboxes, engines and fuel tanks are removed from the aircraft.

Cell 2 - Inspect, airframe and all removed components are fully cleaned and inspected in order to ascertain the serviceability of the aircraft, and to produce a work-package for the rectification phases.

Cell 3 - CRF, aircraft is moved to the Composite Repair Facility building for all structural composite fault rectification.

Cell 4 - Rects A, first rectifications phase to clear faults identified during Inspect phase and embody any Modifications (Mods) and Technical Instructions (TIs) .

Cell 5 - Rects B, second rectifications phase.

Cell 6 - Rects C, third rectifications phase.

Cell 7 - Rebuild, components removed during strip are rebuilt.

Cell 8 - Functionals, all disturbed systems are fully tested for serviceability.

Cell 9 - Flight Test, aircraft is ground run and flown through the full flight test schedule, before being delivered to the receiving squadron.

See also

List of active United Kingdom military aircraft

List of air stations of the Royal Navy


External links

  • JAPs - Joint Air Publications

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