282,672 Pages

AS550/AS555 Fennec
Argentine Navy AS555 SN Fennec 2
Role Light multipurpose helicopter
Manufacturer Aérospatiale
Introduction 1990
Status Operational In Production
Primary users French Army
French Air Force
Argentine Navy
Royal Malaysian Navy
Royal Danish Air Force
Produced 1990-present
Developed from Eurocopter AS350
Eurocopter AS355

The Eurocopter AS550 Fennec and AS555 Fennec 2 are lightweight, multipurpose military helicopters manufactured by Eurocopter Group. Based on the AS350 Ecureuil and AS355 Ecureuil 2 series, they are named after the Fennec Fox. The armed versions of the AS550 and AS555 can be fitted with coaxial weapons, rockets, torpedoes and various other munitions.

Operational history[edit | edit source]

In February 2007, India selected the AS550 C3 Fennec over the Bell 407 helicopter in a deal for 197 helicopters worth 500 million USD.[1] This deal was suspended in June 2007 because of concerns of alleged corruption in the bidding process, and cancelled outright on 6 December 2007.[2] The contract is now being re-competed, and the AS550 C3 is among the helicopters competing for the deal.

On 20 January 2011, Royal Malaysian Navy PASKAL commandos rescued a hijacked Malaysian chemical tanker and its crew from Somali pirates. A Fennec helicopter provide reconnaissance and aerial gunfire to keep the pirate’s mother ship at bay while commandos boarded the tanker.[3]

Variants[edit | edit source]

Single engine
  • AS350 L1/L2 Ecureuil - Original military variants of AS350.
  • AS550 C2 Fennec - Armed version based on AS350 B2.
  • AS550 U2 Fennec - Unarmed version based on AS350 B2.
  • AS550 C3 Fennec - Armed version based on AS350 B3.
Twin engine
  • AS355 M/M2 Ecureuil 2 - Original military variants of AS355 F.
  • AS555 AF Fennec 2 - Armed version based on AS355 N.
  • AS555 AN Fennec 2 - Armed military version, can be fitted with a 20 mm cannon.
  • AS555 AR Fennec 2 - Armed with cannon and rockets.
  • AS555 MN Fennec 2 - Unarmed naval version.
  • AS555 MR Fennec 2 - Naval version.
  • AS555 SN Fennec 2 - Armed naval version.
  • AS555 SR Fennec 2 - Armed naval version.
  • AS555 UN Fennec 2 - Training and uility version.
  • AS555 UR Fennec 2 - Utility version.
  • AS555 SP Fennec 2 - Naval version of AS355 NP.

Operators[edit | edit source]

A Colombian Navy AS-555 prepares to fire at the decommissioned USS Connolly during operation UNITAS Gold

A Danish Air Force AS550 C2 Fennec

Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark

Former Operators[edit | edit source]


Specifications (AS550 C3)[edit | edit source]

The cockpit of an AS 555

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004[9]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 4 passengers
  • Length: 10.93 m (35 ft 10 in) (fuselage length), 12.94 m (42 ft 6 in) (overall length, rotors turning)
  • Height: 3.34 m (10 ft 11 in)
  • Empty weight: 1,220 kg (2,690 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,250 kg (4,960 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 540 L (143 US Gal)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Turbomeca Arriel 2B turboshaft, 632 kW (847 shp) (limited to 500 kW (671 shp for take-off)
  • Main rotor diameter: 10.69 m (35 ft 1 in)
  • Main rotor area: 89.75 m2 (966.1 sq ft)


  • Maximum speed: 246 km/h (153 mph; 133 kn) (max cruise)
  • Never exceed speed: 287 km/h (178 mph; 155 kn)
  • Range: 648 km (403 mi; 350 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 5,280 m (17,323 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 10.30 m/s (2,028 ft/min)


  • Provision for:
  • See also[edit | edit source]

    References[edit | edit source]

    • Jackson, Paul. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004. Coulsdon, UK:Jane's Information Group, 2003. ISBN 0-7106-2537-5.

    External links[edit | edit source]

    This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
    Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.