Eurocopter Fennec

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AS550/AS555 Fennec
Fennec3H131COAN.jpg
Argentine Navy AS555 SN Fennec 2
Role Light multipurpose helicopter
National origin France
Manufacturer Aérospatiale
Eurocopter
Airbus Helicopters
Introduction 1990
Status Operational In Production
Primary users French Army
French Air Force
Argentine Navy
Royal Malaysian Navy
Royal Danish Air Force
Produced 1990-present
Developed from Eurocopter AS350
Eurocopter AS355

The Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) AS550 Fennec 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]

In February 2007, India selected the AS550 C3 Fennec over the Bell 407 helicopter in a deal for 197 helicopters worth 500 million USD.[1] This deal was suspended in June 2007 because of concerns of alleged corruption in the bidding process, and cancelled outright on 6 December 2007.[2] The contract is now being re-competed, and the AS550 C3 is among the helicopters competing for the deal.

On 20 January 2011, Royal Malaysian Navy PASKAL commandos rescued a hijacked Malaysian chemical tanker and its crew from Somali pirates. A Fennec helicopter provide reconnaissance and aerial gunfire to keep the pirate’s mother ship at bay while commandos boarded the tanker.[3]

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 uility version.
  • AS555 UR Fennec 2 - Utility version.
  • AS555 SP Fennec 2 - Naval version of AS355 NP.

Operators[edit]

A Colombian Navy AS555 prepares to fire at the decommissioned USS Connolly during operation UNITAS Gold
A Danish Air Force AS550 C2 Fennec
A Twin Squirrel of the French Air Force
 Argentina
 Brazil
 Colombia
 Denmark
 France
 Malaysia
 Mexico
 Pakistan
 Thailand
 Indonesia

Former Operators[edit]

 Singapore

Specifications (AS550 C3)[edit]

The cockpit of an AS 555

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004[10]

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)

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 (17,323 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 10.30 m/s (2,028 ft/min)

Armament

  • Provision for:

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Eurocopter wins big Indian Army deal". Kalingatimes.com. Archived from the original on 2007-06-04. Retrieved 2007-04-26. 
  2. ^ India scraps 600 million dollar Eurocopter deal
  3. ^ "Paskal commandos foil hijack attempt in Gulf of Aden". The Star. 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "World Air Forces 2013". Flightglobal Insight. 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Colombian Navy Eurocopter AS 555 Fennec". jetphotos.net. Retrieved 17 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Malaysia - Navy Eurocopter AS 555 Fennec". jetphotos.net. Retrieved 17 February 2013. 
  7. ^ AS550 Fennec segera perkuat TNI-AD
  8. ^ "Republic of Singapore Air Force AS 350". Retrieved 17 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Singapore Air AS-550A Fennec". Demand media. Retrieved 17 February 2013. 
  10. ^ Jackson 2003, pp. 244–255.
  • 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]