The AgustaWestland (Leonardo) AW101 is a medium-lift helicopter used in both military and civil applications. The AW101 combines the most advanced technologies, safety by design, mission systems and leading-edge manufacturing to provide a proven platform for Heads of State and VVIP operators. It was developed by a joint venture between Westland Helicopters in the United Kingdom and Agusta in Italy in response to national requirements for a modern naval utility helicopter. Several operators, including the armed forces of Britain, Denmark, Norway and Portugal, use the name Merlin for their AW101 aircraft. It is manufactured at factories in Yeovil, England and Vergiate, Italy; licensed assembly work has also taken place in Japan and the United States.
Prior to 2007, the aircraft had been marketed under the designation EH101. The original designation was EHI 01 but a transcription error of a handwritten note changed this to EH101 and the designation stuck. In 2000, Westland Helicopters and Agusta merged to form AgustaWestland, leading to the type’s redesignation as AW101. Since the AW101’s introduction, it has replaced several older helicopter types, such as the Sea King, performing roles such as medium-sized transport, anti-submarine warfare, and ship-based utility operations. The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) operates a variant of the AW101, designated CH-149 Cormorant, in the air-sea rescue role. Another variant, designated VH-71 Kestrel, was being developed to serve in the US presidential transport fleet; however, the program was cancelled. Civil operators also use AW101s in roles such as passenger and VIP transportation.
Three engines provide exceptional “hot and high” capability and the best One Engine Inoperative (OEI) performance. The largest cabin in class can be configured with seats, stretchers and medical equipment to meet a wide range of search and rescue requirements; with space for up to 16 stretchers. In flight re-fuelling extends the AW101’s exceptional range and endurance to provide SAR coverage in the most remote locations and full rotor blade ice protection ensures operations in the harshest of winter conditions. AW101 provides the highest levels of safety, reliability and availability. Operating world-wide, day and night, in all weathers and extremes of temperature, AW101 equipped with advanced communications, navigation, search and rescue mission equipment and systems, sets the standard by which other SAR helicopters are judged.
The ultimate multi-mission maritime helicopter. The 15 tonne class AW101 provides operators with complete multi-role maritime capabilities, including: Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO), Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW), Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW), Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASaC), Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM), VERTREP, Amphibious Support and Search and Rescue (SAR). Designed from concept to operate in the harshest maritime environments, including high sea state with associated deck motion conditions and equipped with the most advanced technologies and maritime mission systems and exceptional One Engine Inoperative (OEI) performance, the AW101 extends operational theatre horizons to provide force projection for Maritime Commanders.
AW101 provides the highest levels of safety, reliability and availability. Three engines provide exceptional “hot and high” capability and One Engine Inoperative (OEI) performance. Full rotor blade ice protection ensures operation in the harshest winter conditions. Combat proven and in operation from the Arctic to the Antarctic, the AW101 combines advanced technologies, comprehensive communications, navigation, air-refuelling capability, sensors, weapons and role equipment. Cost-effective through-life support and comprehensive training is available, for ongoing operational success.