Italian Navy SH-101A ASW Helicopter Crash Lands Aboard Caio Duilio Anti-Air Warfare Destroyer

An image of the SH-101 resting on a side on the flight deck of Caio Duilio. (Image via Città Della Spezia).

The anti-surface/submarine (ASuW/ASW) helicopter was involved in a training activity when the accident occurred. All the 6 crew members survived.

On Nov. 6, 2019, around 6.00PM LT, an SH-101A (EH-101MPH Mod 110) helicopter belonging to the  1° Gruppo Elicotteri (Helicopter Squadron) from Luni of the Italian Navy (Marina Militare, MM), coded 2-08, crash landed aboard Caio Duilio AAW (Anti-Air Warfare) Destroyer.

According to the reports, the helicopter made a heavy landing on the flight deck of the ship at the end of a night training flight. Photographs released after the mishap by the local media show the Merlin (as the type is dubbed in UK service) resting on a side. The 6 helicopter crew members escaped safely and no one was hurt in the accident, that is currently under investigation.

The Italian Navy operates 22 EH(AW)-101 in different configurations

  • 10x ASuW/ASW;
  • 4x HEW (Helicopter Early Warning) although these might be converted;
  • 4x MSH (Medium Support Helicopter) Utility;
  • 4x ASH (Amphibious Support Helicopter).

The “Caio Duilio” is the new Anti-Air Warfare destroyer belonging to the Horizon Common New Generation Frigate (CNGF) programme, which involves cooperation between Italy and France for the construction of two vessels for the fleet of each national Navy. The ship was taken on charge by the Marina Militare (Italian Navy) on Apr. 3, 2009 and is equipped with a Sylver vertical launcher for 48 Aster 15 and 30 missiles, autonomous Command and Control capabilities, LRR S-1850 M long range radar, and PAAMS (Principal Anti Air Missile System) based on Windows 2000 software with an EMPAR multi-function radar. Interestingly, it was designed with straight lines that give the unit some stealth (low observability) capabilities.


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.