British Westland Merlin HM 1 MK IV helicopter:


Towards the end of the Twentieth century, the British Military, especially the Navy, had a pressing need for a new helicopter design. With the Italian Military, they developed the EH101 Merlin to replace the aging Sea King. The new helicopter included many advanced features including an auto-pilot which reduces the load on the pilot. It was an all-weather design and was designed to operate from small frigates. The primary role of the helicopter for the Navy was Anti-Submarine Warfare but an Airborne Radar version was developed as well. For the Army and Marines, there was a general transport and attack version also developed. There was even a civilian version developed. This family of helicopters served the British military successfully for decades and when the revolution of super strong materials occurred in the third decade of the Twenty-First Century, they were refitted with new materials. Various plans were introduced to replace the helicopter but refitted versions were retained.


With the invention of fusion turbine engines, it was decided to develop a version of the Merlin using fusion turbines instead of standard engines. The new engines would give the helicopter virtually unlimited range in most of its missions and would give it a new lease on life. It was also decided that all of the electronics would be upgraded as well. The military was working on the development of thrust based VTOL aircraft but it was decided that a fusion powered version of the Merlin would be cost saving temporary measure. Wing stubs were mounted on all versions to increase altitude and increased range before overheating the engines. The designation for the updated Merlin was the Mk IV and initial orders were relatively small due to the planned on thrust based VTOL craft. The program for thrust based VTOL craft was delayed and the orders for the updated Merlin were increased. It was not until the Twenty-Seventies that the new designs were ready and none of the new VTOL craft were onboard the ill-fated Ark Royal task force which was attacked by Argentina. Instead, Merlins performed ASW, Radar, and Utility for the fleet that was believed to have been destroyed. Even until the coming of the Rifts, the British operated the Merlin in reserve squadrons. While not as capable as new designs such as the Kingfisher VTOL, developed by the United States, they were still quite capable.


In addition to helicopters operating in British military service, the helicopter was exported to various other nations including Australia, Canada, Japan, and South Korea. In addition to military designs, there was also a civilian transport version developed. Both Civilian and Military version were used until the coming of the Rifts and some even survived the massive destruction of the apocalypse. Pre-Rifts survivors were used by Free Quebec and the nation of Iron Heart until virtually the present day. Most have been replaced by new designs now. As well, these helicopters are used by both mercenary companies and adventures.


The main version of the Merlin is an anti-submarine version. This helicopter is fitted with a special dipping sonar, magnetic anomaly detection gear, and twenty-four sonar buoys. The original version could only carry ten sonar buoys but the new sonar buoys are smaller and the storage area was increased. A relatively short range radar is also fitted and all electronics are linked. As well, the helicopter features a data link to transfer data to other units. The Helicopter has two fuselage hard points on the fuselage and four on the wing stubs which can carry a variety of different ordnance including missiles and torpedoes. For defense, the helicopter has chaff and flare launchers. The crew of the helicopter is normally four with a pilot, aircrewman, and two sensor operators.


The airborne radar version does not carry any systems beyond a powerful phased array radar system with a panel on each side of the fuselage and has internally a powerful communication suit. No weaponry other than chaff and flare launchers are carried. To operate the helicopter, there is a pilot, aircrewman, and four crew members who operate the specialized equipment.


The combat / attack version is fitted with a chin mounted gun mount for attack roles. Originally, a 12.7 mm machine-gun was fitted but was refitted by a rail gun in later service. The rail gun was originally designed for the Gypsy Moth power armor but was later fitted on additional design. The helicopter has the same general ability as the ASW version to carry ordnance with the ability to carry a wider variety. The wing hard points can carry a variety of ordnance including missiles, mini-missile pods, and gun pods. There are two side doors which weapons may also be fitted. Initially, 12.7-mm machine-guns were fitted but door weapons were later upgraded as well. Replacement weapons include rail-guns, automatic grenade launchers, and pulse lasers. For self defense, the helicopter has chaff and flare launchers. The normal crew is six with a pilot, electronics operator, aircrewman, forward gunner, and two side gunners. The helicopter is designed to carry thirty fully equipped troops.


The general transport version lacks most of the specialized equipment carried in the other versions but has space for about forty troops. The helicopter can carry about sixty passengers in emergency conditions. Instead of troops, twenty patients in litters can also be carried. The normal crew is three with includes a pilot, aircrewman, and electronics operator. In addition, the helicopter sometime carries two side gunners if equipped and not being man by troops. Like the combat version, a variety of weapons can be fitted to the door positions. Early in service, 12.7 mm machines were often fitted but grenade launchers, rail guns, and pulse lasers were later fitted to the doors positions as well. For self defense, the helicopter has chaff and missile launchers as well.


The civilian version of the helicopter is similar to the general transport version but does not have any of the defense systems or the advanced radar. The civilian helicopter is normally operated by a crew of two. The helicopter can carry about thirty passengers, cargo, or can be fitted with a special interior for VIP. After the Rifts, some of these have been fitted for combat roles but are lacking in combat electronics.


Model Type: Westland Merlin HM 1 MK IV helicopter
Class: Helicopter, Multi-Role

Crew:Anti-Submarine4 (Pilot, aircrewman, and two sensor operators)
Airborne Radar6 (Pilot, aircrewman, and four sensor / electronics operators)
Combat / Attack6 (Pilot, electronics operator, aircrewman, and three gunners)
General Transport3 or 5 (Pilot, electronics operator, airman, and two possible gunners)
Civilian2 (Pilot and aircrewman)
Troops:Anti-Submarine2 Passengers (Sonar Buoys can be replaced by 8 Passengers)
Airborne RadarNone
Combat / Attack30 Troops
General Transport40 Troops (60 Passengers in Emergency)
Civilian30 Passengers


M.D.C. by Location:

Chin Turret (Combat Version):40
Side Missile Wing Stubs:50
Side Phased Array Radar Panels (2, Airborne Radar Version):50 each
Cockpit:80
Rear Cargo Bay Door:60
Side Doors (2):40 each
[1] Main Rotor (5 Blades):60 (12 each blade)
[1] Tail:40
Landing Gear (3):10 each
[2] Main Body:180


Notes:
[1] Destroying the rear rotor or one of the main blades will cause the helicopter to fly at half speed, wobble and is -6 to parry, -3 to strike, and -40% on piloting skill/maneuvers. Smart pilots will land as soon as possible. Destroying the main top rotor will knock the helicopter out of the sky! Roll under the piloting skill -30% for a successful crash landing (due to the reinforced nature of the Merlin, crew takes only half damage from an impact.
[2] Destroying the main body knocks the helicopter out of the sky and renders it completely useless.


Speed:
Driving on Ground (Taxiing): Only possible for take offs and landings as well as for parking and storage. Speed is 40 mph (64 kph) when traveling and not on take off or landing. Helicopter can land and take off from primitive runways.
Flying: Hover to 207.3 mph (333.6 kph / 180 knots) with a ceiling of 15,100 feet (4,600 meters). The helicopter has great maneuverability and VTOL capabilities.
Maximum Effective Range: Fusion power system gives virtually unlimited range but engines must cool down after operating above 115.2 mph (100 knots / 185 kph) for twenty hours and engines overheat after eight hours after four hours if traveling above 172.7 mph (278 kph/ 150 knots.)


Statistical Data:
Height: 21.7 feet (6.62 meters) normal, 17.1 feet (5.2 meters) for naval versions with blades folded for storage.
Rotor Width: 61 feet (18.59 meters)
Fuselage Width: 17.5 feet (5.32 meters)
Fuselage Length: 64.1 feet (19.53 meters) normal, 51.7 feet (15.75 meters) for naval versions with fuselage folded for storage.
Weight: 35,275 lbs (16,000 kg) fully loaded
Power System: Nuclear Fusion, Should have an average life span of 10 years.
Cargo: Anti-Submarine: 13230 kg (6,000 kg) instead of Sonar Buoys, Airborne Radar: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), Combat / Attack: 16535 lbs (7500 kg), General Transport: 17640 lbs (8000 kg), and Civilian: 17640 lbs (8000 kg).
All versions except Airborne Radar can sling up to 11023.1 lbs (5000 kg) underneath. Cargo loads do not include external hard points on any of the models.
Black Market Cost: Anti-Submarine: 30 million credits, Airborne Radar: 50 million credits, Combat / Attack: 20 million credits, General Transport: 15 million credits, and Civilian: 12 million credits


Weapon Systems:

  1. Gun Mount (Combat Version): The cannon is mounted under the nose of the helicopter on the combat version. Weapon mount is steerable and can be moved horizontally as well as vertically. The gun mount is controlled by the gunner. Weapon mounts can be used against both ground targets and against aircraft. Early models carried a 12.7 mm heavy machine-gun but it was replaced by a rail gun in most models.
    1. 12.7 millimeter Machine-Gun: Uses Ram-Jet style rounds similar to those developed by Wellington after the coming of the Rifts. Weapon mount was carried in most early attack versions of the helicopter but was replaced by rail guns in most models. Rail gun is considered far more effective in terms of damage.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914.4 meters)
      Mega Damage: Single shot does 1D4 and 40 round burst does 5D6.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot / gunner
      Payload: 2,000 rounds (50 bursts).
    2. British Aerospace / Vickers BAV-20 Rail Gun: Replaced the 12.7 mm machine-gun in most models and inflicts greater damage and has a greater range. Rail gun is the same basic model as is carried in the Gypsy Moth power armor but it carries a larger ammunition drum and is restricted to burst fire only.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
      Mega-Damage: A burst of 40 rounds does 1D4x10. No single shots.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot / gunner
      Payload: 5,000 round magazine for 125 bursts.
  2. Side Door Gunner Mounts (2 - Combat and Transport Versions): The Combat and Transport Merlin has two positions for door gunner. While the rail guns are the most popular, Grenade launchers are sometimes carried for greater damage. These weapon systems are normally used when trying to protect the helicopter while it is dropping troops. The door guns cannot be used if the vehicle is traveling over 100 mph (161 kph)
    1. 12.7 millimeter Machine-Gun: Uses Ram-Jet style rounds similar to those developed by Wellington after the coming of the Rifts. Weapon mount was carried in most early attack versions of the helicopter but was replaced by rail guns in most models. Rail gun is considered far more effective in terms of damage.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914.4 meters)
      Mega Damage: Single shot does 1D4 and 40 round burst does 5D6.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot / gunner
      Payload: 1,000 rounds (25 bursts).
    2. British Aerospace / Vickers BAV-20 Rail Gun: Replaced the 12.7 mm machine-gun in most models and inflicts greater damage and has a greater range. Rail gun is the same basic model as is carried in the Gypsy Moth power armor but is restricted to burst fire only.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
      Mega-Damage: A burst of 40 rounds does 1D4x10. No single shots.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot / gunner
      Payload: 2,000 round magazine for 50 bursts.
    3. Enfield / Solaris LMG-60 Squad Automatic Pulse Laser Rifle: With the Rail Gun, the pulse laser rifle replaces the heavy machinegun. Which weapon is carried depends on mission. The weapon has the advantage of not needing ammo but is shorter ranged. It is also much lighter weight than either the heavy machine-gun or the rail gun.
      Maximum Effective Range: 2000 feet (610 meters).
      Mega-Damage: 2D6 per single shot, 6D6 for a rapid fire three shot burst, or use machine gun burst rules for higher burst setting.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to number of combined hand to hand attacks (usually 4-6.) Single Shot, Three Round Burst, and Extended Bursts (Use Machine Gun burst rules) are all available.
      Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
  3. Missile Hard Points (6 - ASW and Combat Versions): The Combat and Anti-Submarine Warfare versions of the merlin has two fuselage hard points and four wing hard points that can missiles or torpedoes. While all versions have Wing Stubs, only the ASW and Combat versions can carry ordnance on them. Each fuselage hard point is designed to carry one long range missiles, one heavy torpedo, two medium missiles, or two medium torpedoes. Under wing hard points carry two medium range missiles, four short range missiles, one mini missile pod, or a gun pod each. Medium range torpedoes can be carried instead of missiles. See Rifts Torpedoes for more details on torpedoes. Combat version is only designed to carry missiles but anti-submarine version can carry missiles as well as torpedoes. Missiles are for a limited strike ability against surface vessels on the ASW version and gun pods are not carried on ASW versions of the Merlin. Weapons can be controlled by the forward gunner or the pilot.
    Fuselage Hard Points (2): One long range missile or heavy torpedo or two medium range missiles or medium torpedoes.
    Wing Hard Points (4): Four short range missiles, two medium range missiles, two medium torpedoes, or one mini-missile pod per hard point
    1. Missiles & Torpedoes: The only restriction is that a hard point must carry all the same type of missiles or torpedoes. Both unguided and guided bombs can be carried. In two pilot versions, short range missile racks are controlled by either the pilot or the weapons officer.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for long, medium, or short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.) Torpedoes: 20 miles (32 km) for medium range and 40 miles (64 km) for long range torpedoes.
      Mega Damage: Varies by missile type for long, medium, or short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.) Torpedoes:By medium or long range torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Missiles can be fired one at a time per hard point. Multiple hard points can be linked as one attack but must all be same range missiles or torpedo.
      Payload: Varies by hard point (see above - all ordnance on a hard point must be the same size and type of ordnance).
    2. Mini-Missile Pod: Large capacity mini-missile pod. These pods are not carried on the body of the aircraft but are only carried on the wings. The Aircraft normally carries missile pods for ground strafing, anti-troop, and anti-emplacement attacks. Normal missile used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation mini-missiles.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega Damage: Varies with mini-missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Each pod can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16) mini-missiles and can be linked with other mini-missile pods for greater number of missiles (Counts as one attack no matter how many missiles in volley.)
      Payload: Each pod carries sixteen (16) mini-missiles.
    3. 12.7 millimeter Machine-Gun (Combat Version Only): Uses Ram-Jet style rounds similar to those developed by Wellington after the coming of the Rifts. Weapon is carried instead of missiles on a hard point. Missiles and Mini-Missile pods are considered more effective. As well, the rail gun has better range and damage and is considered more effective by most crews and the heavy machine-gun was replaced in most models. The weapon is not carried on ASW versions of the Merlin.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914.4 meters)
      Mega Damage: Single shot does 1D4 and 40 round burst does 5D6.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot / gunner
      Payload: 1,600 rounds (40 bursts) each.
    4. British Aerospace / Vickers BAV-20 Rail Gun (Combat Version Only): Instead of missiles, a rail gun can be mounted on the hard point. Missiles and mini-missile pods inflict more damage and have a longer range and inflict more damage. This weapon is the same weapon which was used on the Gypsy Moth power armor, although it carried a rather larger ammo drum, and was restricted to burst fire only. The weapon is not carried on ASW versions of the Merlin.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
      Mega-Damage: A burst of 40 rounds does 1D4x10. No single shots.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of pilot / gunner
      Payload: 4,000 round magazine for 100 bursts each.
  4. Anti-Missile Chaff Dispenser (All Military Versions): Located at the very tail of the aircraft are two chaff dispensers. When tailed by a missile, a cloud of chaff and other obtrusive particles can be released to confuse or detonate the enemy's attack. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
    Effect:
    01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.
    51-75 Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
    76-00 No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
    Also note that the chaff cloud will also blind flying monsters that fly through cloud. They will suffer the following penalties: reduce melee attacks/actions, combat bonuses, and speed by half. Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.
    Payload: Eight (8)


Special Equipment:
Consider the military versions of the helicopter to carry all standard equipment that robot vehicles carry (not including loudspeaker and microphone) plus the following extra systems:


Standard Military:

Anti-Submarine Warfare: Airborne Radar:



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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2003, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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