Military Wiki
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

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]


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.


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


Specifications (AS550 C3)

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:
    • 20 mm Giat M621 cannon
    • Fabrique Nationale de Herstal twin 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine gun pods
    • 7 x 2.75in Forges de Zeebrugge or 12 x 68 mm Thales Brandt rockets
    • BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles
  • See also


    • 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

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