Date: 2015-09-03 The Source (author): www.military-today.com/
The AgustaWestland HH-101A Caesar is an Italian special operations helicopter. This medium-size helicopter evolved from the AW-101 military transport. The Caesar was customized to meet the Italian Air Force requirements.
It performs a wide range of missions, such as search and rescue, transport, recovery, air support and other special operations missions.
The HH-101A was first introduced in 2013 at Farnborough air show. First helicopter for the Italian Air Force was publicly revealed to journalists and dignitaries in 2015 at Cervia air base near Venice. Italian Air Force ordered 20 Caesar helicopters. Delivering are planned to be completed in 2020.
This helicopter uses modern off-the-shelf technology. Its cockpit includes electronic systems that provide radar, laser and infrared protection. Of course this helicopter has a capability to fly at night and in adverse weather conditions.
In the near future this helicopter will replace an already aged Augusta AS-61R helicopter, that was the main heavy Search And Rescue (SAR) and also combat SAR helicopter of the Italian Air Force.
Actually the name Caesar comes from Combat Search And Rescue or CaeSAR for short. Thus the new HH-101A received its symbolic Italian designation with dual meaning.
The HH-101A can carry 20 fully-equipped troops, or 9 paratroopers alongside with six crew members. For combat missions the helicopter can be fitted with 3 machine guns or miniguns.
Additional options such as armored seats and bullet-proof glasses are available depending on customer requirements.
As all new AgustaWestland helicopters the Caesar has new rotor blades with unusual shape. These rotor blades are referred as the BERP. These provide the helicopter increased lifting capability and higher maximum speed. As a result this new helicopter has better maneuverability than its predecessor. Also shape of the rotor blades prevent rising a dust and splashes of mud in desert or other type of terrains and provide a clear view not only for those on ground but for pilots as well. But most important advantage of the BERP design is low level of noise. This feature is very important for a special operations helicopter that is intended to operate primarily at night. No wonder the Caesar is painted in black.
Also the HH-101A has an air-to-air refueling capability for longer range. Even without air-to-air refueling range of the Caesar is formidable.
The specifications of the HH-101A Caesar Special operations helicopter
Entered service 2015 Crew 5 - 6 men Dimensions and weight Length 22.9 m Main rotor diameter 18.6 m Height 7 m Weight (empty) 15 t Weight (maximum take off) 34.5 t Engines and performance Engines 3X General Electric GE-CT7-8E turboshaft engines Engine power 3 x 2 500 shp Cruising speed 285 km/h Service ceiling 4.6 km Range 1 250 km