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.
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 |
|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 |
|HH-71 CSAR-X||2006|| AgustaWestland teamed with Lockheed Martin for the USAF Combat Search and Rescue ( CSAR-X ) competition in order to replace the HH-60G Pave Hawk ... |
|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 612||2013|| Norway search and rescue variant. Fitted with advanced SAR equipment package including a multi-panel Osprey AESA surveillance radar system that p ... |
|HH-101A Caesar||2013|| CSAR version for Italian Air Force. Model AW101 611 |
|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||2018|| On May 2015, the UK MoD and prime contractor Lockheed Martin UK selected Thales to provide the mission equipment for Crowsnest, the replacemen ... |