STATUS: Active, Limited Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Leonardo-Finmeccanica (AgustaWestland) - Italy
LENGTH: 74.90 feet (22.83 meters)
WIDTH: 61.02 feet (18.6 meters)
HEIGHT: 21.85 feet (6.66 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 34,392 pounds (15,600 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 75,839 pounds (34,400 kilograms)
ENGINE: 3 x General Electric GE CT7-8E turboshaft engines developing 2,500 horsepower each while driving a five-bladed main rotor and four-bladed main rotor.
SPEED (MAX): 174 miles-per-hour (280 kilometers-per-hour; 151 knots)
RANGE: 870 miles (1,400 kilometers; 756 nautical miles)
CEILING: 10,827 feet (3,300 meters; 2.05 miles)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Leonardo (AgustaWestland) HH-101 Caesar Search and Rescue (SAR) Medium-Lift Transport Helicopter.
Entry last updated on 11/8/2017.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
First flying in October of 1987 and officially adopted in 1999, the AgustaWestland AW101/EH101 "Merlin" has gone on to find top-tier service with several notable military and civilian operators including Canada, Italy, Norway and the United Kingdom. These helicopters have been tasked with a variety of roles including general transport, utility and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations at various levels. With its proven pedigree, the AW101 line has been forged into the HH-101 "Caesar", a dedicated Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR)platform of similar form and function - though now outfitted with advanced systems and suites for its given role.
The early recipient of the HH-101 is slated to become the Italian Air Force which, in turn, will give up use of its aged fleet of American Sikorsky HH-3F "Pelican" helicopters. The HH-101 is billed as a more refined and advanced variant of the base Merlin line, installing an electro-optical sensor in a chin fairing as well as featuring an integrated defensive suite to ensure battlefield survival. An optional kit will allow for in-flight refueling to further expand operational ranges of the product. As it stands in April of 2014, the Italian Air Force has on order twelve HH-101 aircraft (as "HH-101A"). The first is expected to be delivered sometime in 2014.
A first flight of an HH-101 airframe was undertaken at the AgustaWestland facility of Yeovil, UK. This showcased the aircraft's lines that are largely similar to the original AW101, save for the chin fairing. The triple engine configuration still drives a five-bladed main rotor and four-bladed tail rotor (portside facing). Side sponsons house the retractable main landing gear legs while a twin-wheeled nose leg retracts into the cockpit floor. The standard flight crew will total five crew and include two pilots as well as mission specialists. Supported armament is said to be up to 3 x 7.62mm machine gun systems (including the M134 Gatling) positioned at the side doors and one at the rear-facing loading ramp. All three will be featured atop trainable pintle mountings and afforded ballistics protection. Both cockpit seats will be armored to protect the flight crew.
Beyond its stated CSAR role, the HH-101 is envisioned for civilian-minded SAR sorties as well as special forces insertion/extraction and support. The cabin will allow for configuration to the MEDEVAC role and retains space for up to 20 combat-ready infantry when needed as a general transport. These elements will be well served through the powered rear loading ramp.
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Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (174mph).
Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Leonardo HH-101A Caesar's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units