Merlin Mk2 helicopters have taken on a growing role within the Royal Navy's airborne fleet.
The service operates a total of 30 aircraft under the variant, based at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall, using inviting anti-submarine and airborne early-warning capability onto a range of vessels.
But how much does it cost the British taxpayer each time a Merlin takes to the skies?
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has responded to a Freedom of Information request, stating: "The cost per hour to run a Merlin Mk2 loaded to full capacity is £15,871 (VAT included).
"This is based upon a standard configuration of the aircraft."
The helicopter is capable of round-the-clock maritime patrol in its surveillance role.
Merlin Mk2s hold a crew of five, with a lift capacity of 3.8 tonnes, a maximum speed of 160 knots and a maximum altitude of 15,000ft.
They cost £2.4m each, according to the Royal Navy.
Armed with Sting-Ray torpedoes, Mk11 Depth Charges and the M3m .50 Calibre Machine Gun, the aircraft also operates advanced radar and sonar equipment to help spot submarine threats.
These upgrades came alongside a redesigned cockpit and computer system – the 30 Mk2s were upgraded as part of the £805m Merlin Capability Sustainment Programme.