No. 10676. AgustaWestland EH 101-514 Merlin (19602 c/n 50094) Portuguese Air Force
Photographed by Jorge Guerra

AgustaWestland EH 101-514 Merlin

06/30/2011. This aircraft was originally developed by Westland of the UK and Agusta of Italy. A new company, European Helicopter Industries (EH Industries), was formed in June 1980 for joint marketing and production of the EH 101. In July 2000 Westland and Agusta merged into AgustaWestland, and in March 2004 EH Industries was dissolved, the EH 101 being produced as the AgustaWestland EH 101. Two months later the new company became wholly Italian-owned, while in 2007 the designation changed from EH 101 to AW101.

The Portuguese AF acquired twelve of these three-engined medium transport helicopter in three different versions for three different types of missions: six SAR (Search and Rescue), two SIFICAP (Sistema de Fiscalização das Pescas, Fisheries Surveillance) and four CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue). It is fitted with 2 winches, NITESUN search light, night vision goggles and FLIR. It is equipped with a Galileo radar search with ability to identify and monitor 32 surface targets simultaneously.

The CSAR variant is equipped with a defensive aids suite, which is an integrated system of electronic self-protection, composed of the following subsystems: a radar warning receiver, a missile warning system, and a counter measures dispensing system. All aircraft can be refueled while hovering and air to air.

The pictured aircraft was one of the first two delivered in February 2005, and is assigned to Esquadra 751.

Created June 30, 2011