The AW101 helicopter fleet, manufactured by Leonardo, has reached 500,000 global flight hours in a milestone for the multi-role, medium-lift platform.
In a May 14 release the company stated that among those currently using the platform one operator accounted for more than 7,500 hours on a single aircraft, while nearly 200 units are in service worldwide. The AW101 platform can cover a range of missions including search and rescue (SAR), tactical troop transport, early warning, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, among others.
According to AirForces Intelligence the UK operates an extensive fleet of AW101 variants in the Fleet Air Arm and Royal Air Force, including 30 HM2 standard, and is currently upgrading a number of other types.
Japan also operates the type, with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) reaching a 25,000 flight hours’ milestone at the beginning of 2021. Kawasaki Heavy Industries delivered the first AW101 aircraft to the JMSDF in 2006. In total, Japan has 13 AW101s within its fleet.