The first AgustaWestland HH-101A Caesar tactical helicopter has entered operational service with the Italian Air Force during an official ceremony held at Cervia Air Base on 25 February.

A total of four helicopters, out of a total requirement of 15, have been inducted, and will be used to perform personnel recovery and special forces missions. The HH-101A Caesar helicopters will also support search and rescue, medical evacuation and slow mover intercept operations.

The helicopter is able to accommodate up to five crew members plus twenty fully equipped troops or six crew members plus 8 troops for special operations. The helicopters also feature three M134 7.62 mm pintle-mounted machine guns installed on right and left sides and on the rear ramp, armoured cockpit seats, ballistic protection for machine gun operators as well as for critical systems, integrated electronic warfare system, radios, identification friend or foe suite, crypto equipment, Link 16, intercommunications system, Gabbiano radar system, laser warning receiver, missile launch detection system, and an air-to-air refueling kit.

IMG_5599 b(AgustaWestland).

IMG_5600 b(AgustaWestland).

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