Aviation & Aerospace Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks U.S. Military Pay Special Forces DoD Dictionary (Alpha-to-Zulu) Military Alphabet Code

Airbus Helicopters H125 Fennec (AS550)

Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)

France | 1990

"The Eurocopter AS550 Fennec series has found a home in the inventories of many military forces around the globe."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/25/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The AS550 "Fennec" (H125) is a related militarized helicopter development of the Eurocopter AS350 "Ecureuil" series. It is a light-class, versatile dedicated utility platform intended for such roles as reconnaissance, transport and attack sorties (as well as special forces support) and has seen considerable popularity around the globe. Introduced in 1990, the Fennec was developed into two distinct flavors: the single-engined AS350 and AS550 family and the twin-engined AS355 and AS555 family. Original production forms were the single-engine AS350 L1/L2 "Ecureuil" and service introduction occurred in 1990.

The Fennec was originally a product of Aerospatiale (AS) before falling under the Eurocopter name. It is now a product of Airbus Helicopters and known under the "H125" designation and marketed as such.

Outwardly, the helicopter relies on a conventional design layout with the powerplant fitted over the roof of the passenger cabin and used to drive an overhead main rotor as well as a tail rotor (the latter via a drive shaft running through the tail stem). The engine exhausts over the tail unit. The tail unit is completed with vertical planes at its extreme aft end and horizontal planes along the midway span of the empennage. At front is side-by-side seating for two crew while the passenger cabin can contain up to four passengers. The frontal section of the aircraft is well-glazed for excellent vision out-of-the-cockpit. Each pilot is afforded hinged automobile-style doors. The passenger section is also home to hinged door units though these are of larger area. The chin area can support an optics fit. The undercarriage is of a simple four-point skid arrangement reducing maintenance time and procurement costs.

Other single-engine forms have included the armed AS550 C2, the unarmed utility-minded AS550 U2 and the armed AS550 C3. The AS550 C3e is now the Airbus Helicopters "H125M".

The AS550 CS sports a crew of two with seating for four. It has an overall length of 42.5 feet with a width of 35 feet (main rotor included) and a height of 10.9 feet. Listed empty weight is 2,700lb against a Maximum Take-Off Weight of 5,000lb. Power is from a single Turbomeca Arriel 2B turboshaft engine developing 847 horsepower driving a three-bladed main rotor over the fuselage and a two-bladed tail rotor at rear (offset to starboard). Performance includes a maximum speed of 155 miles per hour with a range out to 405 miles, a service ceiling up to 17,320 feet and a rate-of-climb of 2,030 feet-per-minute.

Twin-engine variants have gone on to include the original AS355 M/M2 Ecureuil 2, the armed AS555 AF, the 20mm cannon-equipped AS555 AN, the cannon-and-rocket-equipped AS555 AR, the unarmed naval-minded AS555 MN, the navalized AS555 MR, the armed naval variant AS555 SN and AS555 SR, the training and utility AS555 UN, the utility-minded AS555 UR and the navalized AS555 SP.

Armed versions can carry the 20mm GIAT M621 series automatic cannon as well as 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun pods. There is also provision for seven-shot or twelve-shot 70mm rocket pods. Some attack forms have also mounted the BGM-71 TOW Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) series weapon.

Operators of the Fennec family of helicopters includes the Argentine Army, the Brazilian Army, the Colombian Navy, the Royal Danish Air Force, the Ecuadorian Army, the French Army and Navy services, the Indonesian Army, the Royal Malaysian Army, the Mexican Navy, the Pakistani Army and the Royal Thai Army. The Republic of Singapore Air Force is a former operator.

May 2018 - Ukraine has inked a deal for a batch of H125 helicopters from Airbus.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

September 2022 - The Air Force and Navy services of Brazil have jointly signed a deal to acquire 27 H125 helicopters for training purposes.

April 2023 - Airbus Helicopters has unveiled the AH-125 "Ares" light-attack and MH-125 "Ares" multi-mission helicopter variants of the line.

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Airbus Helicopters H125 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).
1 x Turbomeca Arriel 2B turboshaft engine developing 847 horsepower and driving a three-bladed main rotor and two-bladed tail rotor.
152 mph
245 kph | 132 kts
Max Speed
99 mph
160 kph | 86 kts
Cruise Speed
17,323 ft
5,280 m | 3 miles
Service Ceiling
404 miles
650 km | 351 nm
Operational Range
2,030 ft/min
619 m/min
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Airbus Helicopters H125 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).
35.9 ft
10.95 m
O/A Length
42.5 ft
(12.95 m)
O/A Width
11.0 ft
(3.35 m)
O/A Height
2,690 lb
(1,220 kg)
Empty Weight
4,960 lb
(2,250 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Airbus Helicopters H125 Fennec (AS550) Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) .
1 x 20mm GIAT M621 automatic cannon.
2 x 7.62mm machine gun pods.
2 x 12.7mm machine gun pods.
2 x 70mm FZ220 rocket pods.
2 x 68mm rocket pods.
2 x BGM-71 TOW Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs).
Notable series variants as part of the Airbus Helicopters H125 Fennec (AS550) family line.
H125 - Base Series Designation under Airbus label.
AS555 - Former base Series Designation under Eurocopter label.
H125M - Light armed variant by Airbus
AS350 L1/L2 "Ecureuil" - Original military model; single engine.
AS550 C2 - Armed variant; single engine.
AS550 U2 - Unarmed variant; single engine.
AS550 C3 - Armed variant; single engine.
AS355 M/M2 "Ecureuil" - Original military model; twin engine.
AS555 AF - Armed variant; twin engine.
AS555 AN - Armed military variant; provision for 20mm automatic cannon; twin engine.
AS555 AR - Cannon / rocket armed light gunship; twin engine.
AS555 MN - Unarmed navy model; twin engine.
AS555 MR - Navalized variant; twin engine.
AS555 SN - Armed navy model; twin engine.
AS555 SR - Armed navy model; twin engine.
AS555 UN - Training / utility variant; twin engine.
AS555 UR - Utility platform; twin engine.
AS555 SP - Navalized variant; twin engine; twin engine.
AH-125 "Ares" - Proposed, U.S.-built light-attack helicopter variant.
MH-125 "Ares" - Proposed, U.S.-built light multi-mission helicopter variant.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Airbus Helicopters H125 Fennec (AS550). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 550 Units

Contractor(s): Eurocopter / Airbus Helicopters - France
National flag of Argentina National flag of Brazil National flag of Colombia National flag of Denmark National flag of Ecuador National flag of France National flag of Indonesia National flag of Malaysia National flag of Mexico National flag of Pakistan National flag of Singapore National flag of Thailand National flag of Ukraine National flag of the United Kingdom

[ Argentina; Brazil; Colombia; Denmark; Ecuador; France; Indonesia; Malaysia; Mexico; Pakistan; Singapore; Thailand; Ukraine; United Kingdom ]
1 / 1
Image of the Airbus Helicopters H125 Fennec (AS550)
Image from official Airbus Helicopters marketing material.

Developments of similar form-and-function, or related, to the Airbus Helicopters H125 Fennec (AS550) Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).
Going Further...
The Airbus Helicopters H125 Fennec (AS550) Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)