The first in the world

Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) are pleased to announce the delivery of the first Airborne Mine Counter Measures (AMCM) equipped KHI MCH-101 helicopter to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force. The KHI MCH-101, a licence built version of the AgustaWestland AW101 helicopter, is equipped with the Northrop Grumman AN/AQS-24A airborne mine hunting system and the Northrop Grumman AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS).

The MCH-101 which has just been delivered to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force is a variant of the AgustaWestland AW101, and the only modern helicopter capable of carrying Northrop’s airborne minehunting suite, visible here in place of its rear ramp (AW photo)
The MCH-101 which has just been delivered to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force is a variant of the AgustaWestland AW101, and the only modern helicopter capable of carrying Northrop’s airborne minehunting suite, visible here in place of its rear ramp (AW photo)

Together these systems provide a complete surface-to-bottom mine detection capability. The AW101/MCH-101 is one of only two helicopter types capable of towing the AN/AQS-24A and the only modern helicopter type.

The development of the AMCM variant of the AW101/MCH-101 has been led by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, as prime contractor, with AgustaWestland providing technical support. KHI has responsibility for system integration and design of the AN/AQS-24A carriage, deploy, tow and recovery system that is installed in the cabin.

AgustaWestland in addition to providing technical support also modified the aircraft’s Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) to be able to perform coupled towing patterns with the Northrop Grumman AN/AQS-24A.

Following the handover ceremony at Kawasaki’s Gifu factory on 27th February, the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force aircraft was delivered to Iwakuni where it will perform evaluation trials with the 51st Experimental Squadron before entering operational service in 2016.

With a typical range of 735 NM (over 1,360 km) in standard configuration the MCH-101 is the most capable Maritime helicopter in the world today
With a typical range of 735 NM (over 1,360 km) in standard configuration the MCH-101 is the most capable Maritime helicopter in the world today

The AN/AQS-24A is the only operationally proven, high speed airborne mine hunting system in the world. It features a high-resolution, side scan sonar for real time, detection, localization and classification of bottom and moored mines at high area coverage rates and a laser line scanner to provide precision optical identification of underwater mines and other objects of interest.

 

KHI MCH-101

KHI developed the MCH-101, a successor of the current MH-53E minesweeping/transport helicopter, by modifying the EH-101, a utility helicopter developed and manufactured by AgustaWestland based in Italy and the United Kingdom, in order to meet needs specific to Japan. The MCH-101 will be used in the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s minesweeping/transport activities as well as transport support for Antarctic exploration.

The MCH-101 is the only modern helicopter capable of towing the AN/AQS-24A
The MCH-101 is the only modern helicopter capable of towing the AN/AQS-24A

The AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System uses pulsed laser light and streak tube receivers housed in an external equipment pod to image the entire near-surface volume potentially containing mines. The ALMDS pod is mounted on the port weapon carrier and data is displayed on the cabin mission console.

The first AMCM configured is the eighth of 13 AW101s that Kawasaki Heavy Industries is building under licence from AgustaWestland for the Japan Maritime Defense Force.

The eight aircraft delivered to date comprise six MCH-101s and two CH-101s. The CH-101s are used to support Japan’s Antarctic research activities.

 

AgustaWestland AW101

The AW101 combines the most advanced technologies, safety by design, mission systems and leading-edge manufacturing to provide a proven platform for Heads of State and Very Very Important Person (VVIP) operators.

The MCH-101 is equipped with three civil certified (FAA Type Certificate E8NE) General Electric CT7-8E engines
The MCH-101 is equipped with three civil certified (FAA Type Certificate E8NE) General Electric CT7-8E engines

Featuring the largest cabin in its class, 2.49 m/8.17 feet wide and 1.83 m/6 feet high, passengers are able to walk in the spacious environment, which can be fitted with a range of fixtures and equipment, finished in highest quality materials to customers exacting standards. The aircraft has been proven in the world’s most extreme environments, from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

 

Weights

Maximum Take-Off (int./ext. loads):  15,600 kg/34,392 lbs

Engine Rating (3 x GE CT7-8E)

Take-Off power (5 min):                          3 x 1,884 kW/3 x 2,527 shp

Intermediate (30 min):                             3 x 1,855 kW/3 x 2,488 shp

Maximum Continuous Power:            3 x 1,522 kW/3 x 2,041 shp

OEI* Max Contingency (2 min):          2 x 1,880 kW/2 x 2,522 shp

* One Engine Inoperative

With the largest cabin in its class, the MCH-101 provides customers with greater operational flexibility
With the largest cabin in its class, the MCH-101 provides customers with greater operational flexibility

Fuel Capacity (VVIP version)

4 cell tanks (self-sealing):                       4,094 L/1,081 USgal

Fuel Capacity (Utility version)

5 cell tanks (self-sealing):                       5,135 L/1,357 USgal

Crew

Pilot:                                                                   2

Passengers:                                                    38

External Dimensions

Overall length:                                               22.83 m/74.92 feet

Overall height:                                               6.66 m/21.83 feet

Main rotor diameter:                                 18.60 m/61.00 feet

Performance

Cruise speed:                                                 278 km/h/150 knots

Hovering In Ground Effect (IGE):      3,307 m/10,850 feet

Max Range (Utility version):                 1,360 km/735 NM

Max Endurance (Utility version):       6 h 30 min

Whether equipped for autonomous ASW/ASuW or amphibious assault with 38 troops, the MCH-101 offers total flexibility to fleet commanders
Whether equipped for autonomous ASW/ASuW or amphibious assault with 38 troops, the MCH-101 offers total flexibility to fleet commanders

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