The new helicopter is ready for delivery to the Italian Air Force.
The AgustaWestland HH-101A “Caesar” is about to be delivered to the Italian Air Force.
The helicopter, a variant of the AgustaWestland AW101 advanced medium lift helicopter for Personnel Recovery, Special Forces Operations support, SAR, MEDEVAC and Slow Mover Intercept, is going to be assigned to 15° Stormo (Wing) based at Cervia, complementing the HH-139 already in service and fully replacing the recently retired HH-3F Pelican.
The HH-101A, configured to host a combination of up to five crew members plus 22 fully equipped troops or 6 crew members plus 8 troops for special operations, can carry three M134 7.62 mm pintle mounted Gatling-type machine guns, aerial refueling kit, armoured cockpit seats, ballistic protection for machine gun operators as well as for critical systems and an Integrated Electronic Warfare System providing self-protection against radar, laser and infrared threats.
Thanks to its three Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322-01 the combat chopper can reach a maximum speed of 167 knots with an operative range of 517 miles.
The Italian Air Force plans to operate 15 such helicopters.
Recently, photographer Richard Cliff had the opportunity to visit Merryfield, a small airfield near Yeovilton Air Station which AgustaWestland and the Royal Navy use for helicopter training on a daily/nightly basis and took the stunning pictures of one of the HH101 destined to the Italian Air Force that you can find in this post.
Image credit: Richard Cliff
It is a Merlin variant.