Designed as a replacement for the Sea King, the EH-101 (named Merlin in Royal Navy service), is a joint venture between Westland (UK) who developed the original WG34 design on which the EH-101 is based and Agusta (Italy). A new company called E.H.I. was established between the two partners in 1980 to manage the project. The HM1 is an anti-submarine variant intended to replace the Sea King HAS6, and the Lynx HAS3 & HMA8 on suitably equipped frigates. Other versions will replace Sea Kings in transport roles in both the RN and RAF and an airborne-early-warning version is planned. A US101 version was developed in 2003 to compete in the VHX to replace the United States Presidential helo, flown by US Marine squadron HMX-1. EHI officially became AgustaWestland International Limited (AWIL) in 2004, recognising the transfer of control over Westland Helicopters to Agusta Helicopters of Italy
The EH-101 was originally to be known as the EHL-01, but a clerical error in re-typing caused the lower case letter l of European Helicopter Ltd to be misread as a one. The rest, as they say, is history.
First flown October 9, 1987. On July 2007, the EH101 was renamed by Agustawestland as the AW101.
Since 2016 marketed by Leonardo.
Since 2016 marketed by Leonardo.
Derivatives & Versions
|CH-148 Petrel||1987|| In 1987 Canada placed an order for 42 EH101 to be assembled locally in 2 main variants, 28 CH-148 Petrel as a shipborne helicopter to replace the ... |
|Merlin HM.1||1995|| Royal Navy variant with manufacturer designation Mk.111 and built at Yeovil, Somerset UK.
The British MoD placed an initial order for 44 Merl ... |
|EH101 Mk.510||1997|| Civil transport variant, two built |
|EH101 Mk.110||1998|| ASW/ASuW variant for Italian Navy with T700-GE-T6A engines |
Also defined: Maritime Patrol Helicopter (MPH)
first 1 plus 8 batch built at Vergiate last two at Yeovil
|Merlin HC.3||1998|| RAF variant built at Yeovil, Somerset, UK. The British MoD placed an initial order for 22 Merlin HC.3 airframes in Mar 1995. |
All of the Merlin HC3's are operated by 28 Sqn based at RAF Benson. Their first operational tour was in Bosnia which started in April 2 ...
In order to lift and support the Royal Marines, the Merlin HC3 and HC3A due to transfer to the Royal Navy Commando Helicopter Force will need to ...
|CH-149 Cormorant||2002|| Search and Rescue (SAR) variant for Canada. Manufacturer designation Mk.511 |
|EH101 Mk.112||2003|| AEW variant for Italian Navy with Eliradar APS-784 radar in a bigger radome under fuselage. T700-GE-T6A engines. |
|EH101 Mk.410||2003|| TTH Transport/Utility (UTY) version for Italian Navy for amphibious operations. Rear ramp and blade folding. T700-GE-T6A engines. |
tail boom folding too
|EH101 Mk.512||2003|| Search and Rescue (SAR) and Transport variant for Royal Danish Air Force. RTM322-250 engines. |
|EH101 Mk.514||2003|| Search and Rescue (SAR) for Portuguese Air Force. RTM322-250 engines |
|EH101 Mk.515||2003|| Fisheries Protection variant for Portugese Air Force. RTM322-250 engines |
|EH101 Mk.516||2003|| Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) variant for Portugese Air Force. RTM322-250 engines |
|EH101 Mk.413||2004|| ASH Amphibious Support Helicopter for Italian Navy |
|EH101 Mk.518||2005|| MCH-101 variant for Japan assembled by Kawasaki |
AgustaWestland teamed with Lockheed-Martin for the USAF Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR-X) competition to replace the HH-60G Pave Hawk. The one ... |
|KHI MCH-101||2006|| Mk.518 variant for Japan assembled by Kawasaki |
|VH-71 Kestrel||2006|| Manufacturer designation AW101-519
On January 28, 2005 an EH.101 US built variant known as the US101 was selected in the VXX program, to provi ... |
On May 15th 2009 NAVAIR instructed Lockheed Martin Systems Integration to stop work on the VH-71.
On June 1st 2009 the US Navy announced the termination of the VH-71 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) program contract for the convenien ...
In June 2011, nine VH-71s were purchased for $164 million by Canada for use as spare parts for its fleet of AgustaWestland CH-149 Cormorant searc ...
|Merlin HC.3A||2007|| Due to the shortage of Support helicopters within the UK armed forces the UK MOD agreed to purchase the 6 Joint Supporter model Merlins from the ... |
|AW101 610||2010|| Export version for the Navy of Algeria |
|AW101 VVIP||2010|| AW101 643, Commercial VIP variant |
|AW101 640||2011|| export version for Saudi Arabia |
|AW101 641||2011|| export VIP version for India |
|AW101 642||2012|| export VIP version for Argelia |
|Merlin HM.2||2012|| Following the UK MoD Merlin Capability Sustainment Programme (MCSP) of the late 1990s, a contract was signed in Dec 2005 with a consortium led by ... |
First delivered to RNAS Culdrose for evaluation in September 2012. 30th and last one delivered on July 2016
|AW101 611||2013|| CSAR version for Italian Air Force designated HH-101 Caesar. Based on this variant are the unarmed Norwegian AW612 and Canadian Cormorant upgrad ... |
|AW101 612||2013|| Norway search and rescue variant. Fitted with advanced SAR equipment package including a multi-panel Osprey AESA surveillance radar system that p ... |
|Merlin HC.3i||2015|| Royal Navy interim variant until HC.4 is ready. Seven HC.3 modified with folding rotor heads |
|Merlin HC.4||2016|| Announced 2014, the conversion of 25 RAF Mk 3 and 3A Merlin helicopters to be operated by the Royal Navy as the Commando Sea King HC.4 replacemen ... |
|Crowsnest Merlin||2019|| In May 2015, the UK MoD and prime contractor Lockheed Martin UK selected Thales to provide the mission equipment for Crowsnest, the replacemen ... |
|AW101 614||2021|| Export version for the Navy of Poland |