AS 550 Fennec
Airbus Helicopters' 2-ton H125M (formerly the AS550 C3e Fennec) responds to military requirements for a cost-effective armed platform with a very small footprint and excellent maneuverability. As the most capable armed scout helicopter in its category, the single-engine H125M combines power, discretion and targeted firepower.Airbus Helicopters announced a rebranding initiative in 2015 under which the EC-labeled designations of many of its helicopters were replaced by H-labeled designations [H for “helicopter”]. Military versions had the letter M at the end of the designation. The AS 350B2, AS 365N3+, AS 565MBe, EC 145e, AS 332C1e, AS 332L1e, AS 532ALe, Tiger, and NH90. retained their current designations. The AS 550 C3 is the combat version of the single-engine Fennec. It is fitted with sliding doors, a raised landing gear, an instrument panel adapted to tactical flight and provisions for night flight with night vision goggles. It can be fitted with axial weapons such as a 20-mm gun, pod-mounted rocket launchers, a gun, a side-firing machine gun, or in the anti-tank or air-air version, it can carry 4 missiles.
The AS 555 UN and AS 555 AN are the land versions of the twin-engine Fennec. The AS 555 UN is particularly intended for reconnaissance/observation missions, IFR training. The AS 555 AN is the armed version. It can be fitted with the same weapons equipping the AS 550 C3. The AS 555 MN and AS 555 SN are the navalized versions of the twin-engine Fennec. Fitted with a 360-degree radar, the AS 555 MN performs surveillance and observation missions. The AS 555 SN, intended for anti-submarine warfare, carries a torpedo.
The H125M is tailored for locating and attacking targets of opportunity. It relies on the qualities of power, simplicity, firing stability and stealth to carry out a diverse range of demanding missions. Able to fly discretely in the battlefield with a small silhouette, the Fennec has a reduced radar signature through the use of composite materials and low infrared-reflective paint. This helicopter benefits from the excellent handling characteristics and easy-to-fly qualities that are inherent in Airbus Helicopters’ single-engine Ecureuil family – which holds the world altitude record (landing on Mount Everest at 8,850 meters), and is fully operational in high-and-hot environments.
Fitted with Turbomeca’s powerful Arriel 2D engine with a dual-channel Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) system, the H125M is well suited to perform combat flights. In the cockpit, Airbus Helicopters’ Vehicle and Engine Multifunction Display (VEMD®) provides accurate information on the aircraft’s condition and performance, dramatically reducing crew workload.
When called on for armed reconnaissance, the H125M Fennec’s ability to fire a variety of weapons ensures rapid-response fire support for troops. Axial armament accommodated by the helicopter includes a 12.7-mm. machine gun pod, 20-mm. cannon pod, 70-mm. rockets and air-to-ground guided missiles. Qualified side-mounted weaponry is a 7.62-mm. machine gun and installed sniper rifle. Growth potential includes guided rockets and air-to-air missiles.
With the longest range in its category, the H125M is well suited to serve tactical air control parties in effectively guiding attack helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. The H125M's spacious interior, with no separation between the cockpit and the cabin, facilitates communications between crew members, and offers an excellent field of view – even from behind.
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