Agusta-Westland AW-101

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General info
The story of the Agusta-Westland AW-101 began in the year 1977. At the time the Italian and British navies would both show keen interest for a brand new platform which would be a suitable replacement for the old Sea King’s both nations used. The Sea King had been in service for decades, so an agreement was made which lead both countries to start work together on a new design which would eventually develop and put in active service a replacement for it. This joint venture would be conducted with Italy’s Agusta and the UK’s Westland Aircraft. Both respective companies who had amassed a lot of experience in the designing and manufacturing of military helicopters. In 1979 they both agreed to combine their respective studies, followed by the signing of a MoU between the 2 governments. The first prototype known as ‘PP1’ flew at Yeovil on the 9th of October 1987, which was followed by ‘PP2’ at Cascina Costa on the 26th of November of the same year. Development continued, the first Italian Navy production helicopter (MM81480) flew on the 4th October 1999. Some of the main features of the AW-101 that made it stand out from the rest of the competition was the fact it had access to a five-blade main rotor, with integrated sub-systems and a single pilot full glass cockpit. Some activities it can carry out if needed included search and rescue, airborne early warning, and marine patrol missions. In terms of armament, the AW-101 is mainly suited against anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare, thus standard armament includes a wide range of torpedoes and anti-ship missiles. Other equipment includes a flare/chaff countermeasure system and a range of rocket and gun pods. In terms of mobility, the AW-101 is powered by three Gen.El. T700/T6A engines, which allows it go up to 220-280km an hours. In terms of Italian usage, The 1º Gruppo elicotteri and the 3º Gruppo elicotteri have in service around 22 helicopters. In Italian service 3 AW101’s were sent to Afghanistan to aid in the ISAF forces, their main role was to provide MEDIVAC and patrol areas of high importance at night thanks to the Night vision devices fitted unto the Aircraft. They would Operate in the Herat region, where the Italian command base was also located. Besides Italy and the United Kingdom, many other nations also operate the AW-101 in diferent variants. Country operators include Japan, Denmark, Algeria, Canada and Portugal. Leonardo will keep on supporting and marketing this platform which will allow it to continue serving inside Italy and other nations for many years.

Armament+Equipment
Marte ER anti-ship missiles
Marte MK2 anti-ship missiles
Stingray, MU90, A244 AS, MK46 torpedoes
Depth Charges
Rocket pods (FZ225 70mm rocket)
Rocket pods (FZ275 Laser Guided 70mm rocket)
Gun Pods (7.62 or 12.7mm)
General purpose machine guns (7.62, 12.7)
Flares+Chaff

Specifications

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Why it should be in game
It would be a neat addition if/when Gaijin allow for helicopters to be used in naval battles. It would be quite bulky and would likely be able to resist against a lot of enemy fire. It would not be overpowered, making a 3D model would also be easy. Its armament selection is quite limited so if put at the right battle rating it can still get some eliminations with the right armament. It could also be added to other nations in game as a researchable or GE vehicle.

Sources

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Agusta 101 brochure
Military Technology 2/89
Janes pocket guide Modern military helicopters
https://www.marina.difesa.it/noi-siamo-la-marina/mezzi/forze-aeree/Pagine/AgustaWestlandEH101ASH.aspx
AgustaWestland AW101 / EH101 Merlin helicopter
Archivio Fotografico Aeromedia
SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM: Leonardo AW 101: il più avanzato elicottero multi-ruolo
https://www.leonardocompany.com/en/products/aw101
AgustaWestland AW101 - Wikipedia
Leonardo AW101 Merlin (EH101) Medium-Lift / Multirole Helicopter
AgustaWestland AW101 - Wikipedia
https://www.indiatoday.in/fyi/story/christian-michel-extradition-agustawestland-helicopter-1402813-2018-12-05
https://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/aw101-helicopter/
Thales Belgium (BL VTS) – Rockets 70mm (2.75”) : Leonardo Helicopters EH-101 / AW101 equipped with 2ea 19-tube FZ rocket launchers FZ225
https://www.aerospace-technology.com/projects/aw101-transport-helicopter/
https://defence-blog.com/news/leonardo-presents-aw101-royal-navy-ultimate-multi-mission-maritime-helicopter-at-idef-2017.html
EH Industries / AgustaWestland EH 101 / AW101 - Specifications - Technical Data / Description
Naval Analyses: Bergamini class (FREMM) frigates of the Italian Navy

Photos

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