Eurocopter Fennec – Wikipedia

The Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) AS550 Fennec (now H125M)[1] and AS555 Fennec 2 are lightweight, multipurpose military helicopters manufactured by Eurocopter Group (now Airbus Helicopters). Based on the AS350 Ecureuil and AS355 Ecureuil 2 series, they are named after the fennec fox. The armed versions of the AS550 and AS555 can be fitted with coaxial weapons, rockets, torpedoes and various other munitions.

Operational history[edit]

As a result of the Vienna Treaty,[which?] military variants of the Écureuil were marketed under a separate designation; thus from 1990 onwards the type was marketed as the Fennec.[2]

In February 2007, India selected the AS550 C3 Fennec over the Bell 407 helicopter in a deal for 197 helicopters worth US$500 million.[3] This deal was suspended in June 2007 because of concerns of alleged corruption in the bidding process, and cancelled outright on 6 December 2007.[4] The contract is now being re-competed, and the AS550 C3 is among the helicopters competing for the deal. However India chose Kamov Ka-226T over AS550 C3 in the refreshed tender.[5][6]

On 20 January 2011, Royal Malaysian Navy PASKAL commandos rescued a hijacked Malaysian chemical tanker and its crew from Somali pirates. A Fennec helicopter provided reconnaissance and aerial gunfire to keep the pirate’s mother ship at bay while commandos boarded the tanker.[7]

Variants[edit]

Single engine
  • AS350 L1/L2 Ecureuil – Original military variants of AS350.
  • AS550 C2 Fennec – Armed version based on AS350 B2.
  • AS550 U2 Fennec – Unarmed version based on AS350 B2.
  • AS550 C3 Fennec – Armed version based on AS350 B3.
Twin engine
  • AS355 M/M2 Ecureuil 2 – Original military variants of AS355 F.
  • AS555 AF Fennec 2 – Armed version based on AS355 N.
  • AS555 AN Fennec 2 – Armed military version, can be fitted with a 20 mm cannon.
  • AS555 AR Fennec 2 – Armed with cannon and rockets.
  • AS555 MN Fennec 2 – Unarmed naval version.
  • AS555 MR Fennec 2 – Naval version.
  • AS555 SN Fennec 2 – Armed naval version.
  • AS555 SR Fennec 2 – Armed naval version.
  • AS555 UN Fennec 2 – Training and utility version.
  • AS555 UR Fennec 2 – Utility version.
  • AS555 SP Fennec 2 – Naval version of AS355 NP.

Operators[edit]

 Argentina
 Brazil
 Colombia
 Denmark
 Ecuador
 France
 Indonesia
 Kenya
 Malaysia

 Mexico

 Pakistan

 Qatar

 Tanzania

 Thailand

 Uzbekistan

Former operators[edit]

 Singapore

Specifications (AS550 C3)[edit]

Data from Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft 2003–2004[16]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 4 passengers
  • Length: 10.93 m (35 ft 10 in) (fuselage length), 12.94 m (42 ft 6 in) (overall length, rotors turning)
  • Height: 3.34 m (10 ft 11 in)
  • Empty weight: 1,220 kg (2,690 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,250 kg (4,960 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 540 L (143 US Gal)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Turbomeca Arriel 2B turboshaft, 632 kW (847 shp) (limited to 500 kW (671 shp for take-off)
  • Main rotor diameter: 10.69 m (35 ft 1 in)
  • Main rotor area: 89.75 m2 (966.1 sq ft)

    Royal Thai Army AS550 armed with .50″ HMP POD

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 246 km/h (153 mph, 133 kn) (max cruise)
  • Never exceed speed: 287 km/h (178 mph, 155 kn)
  • Range: 648 km (403 mi, 350 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 5,280 m (17,320 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 10.30 m/s (2,028 ft/min)

Armament
Provision for:

[14]

See also[edit]

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Jackson, Paul. Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft 2003–2004. Coulsdon, UK:Jane’s Information Group, 2003. ISBN 0-7106-2537-5.

External links[edit]