Monday, June 2, 2008

Merlin flight

The 2006 edition of the Portuguese Armed Forces annual military exercise, Lusíada 06, was the perfect opportunity for testing the new abilities that the AgustaWestland EH-101 Merlin fleet brought to the Força Aérea Portuguesa (FAP, Portuguese Air Force).

From 6 to 15 November, the FAP detached to Ovar reserve base a force comprising F-16 fighter, C-212 and C-130 transport and P-3 patrol aircraft, as well as Alouette III and EH101 helicopters. The helicopters were used in transport and support missions, a role that used to be played by the SA-330 Puma. The Merlin fleet, whose operation began on February 2006, belongs to 751 Sqn. that will keep detachments in Madeira and, from this year on, also in Azores.

Thanks to the Air Force it was possible an excellent air-to-air photography session. This report was made for Fuerzas Militares del Mundo.

A Portuguese EH101 Merlin flying towards São Jacinto.

A Portuguese EH101 Merlin landing in São Jacinto, the second location where Lusíada took place.

Pedro Monteiro

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