The Italian Aerospace Information Web
by Aeromedia - corso Giambone 46/18 - 10135 Torino (Italy)
Maiden Flight for the First EH 101 of the Italian Navy
On December 6th, at the Agusta Vergiate plants, the first production EH 101ASW for the Italian Navy made its official flying debut in front of Adm. Umberto Guarnieri, Chief of Staff Italian Navy. The flight, that lasted about five minutes, was also attended by civil and military delegations, both from Italy and abroad.
Sixteen EH Industries (Agusta/Westland) EH 101s have been ordered so far by the Italian Navy: eight in the ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) version, four ASVW/E (Anti-Submarine and Vessel Warfare, Enhanced) and four for special troops transport, the latter being a version retaining the main rotor blades and tail folding and also equipped with the same rear ramp, typical of the 400 series military utility variant. Eight additional EH 101s are on option by the Italian Navy.
During the ceremony, Ing.Amedeo Caporaletti, Agusta managing director, underlined the importance of the EH101 programme as a major asset for the whole Italian aerospace industry, focusing the necessity for the early launch of a "second production batch" for the Italian Navy, to restore the initial target of 36 aircraft, as envisaged by the original Anglo-Italian governmental memorandum of understanding.
In the picture: EH Industries EH 101ASW 2-01 MMX81480, first series aircraft for the Italian Navy, during its first public flight at Vergiate, December 6th, 1999.
(Aeromedia, January 2000)