ROME, June 23 (UPI) -- The Italian Air Force has introduced into service an AgustaWestland multi-mission helicopter specifically adapted to service requirements.
The helicopter, the HH-101A Caesar, is a variant of the company's AW-101, which is known as the Merlin by the militaries of Britain, Denmark and Portugal.
The aircraft will be used by the Italian Air Force to provide air support to special operations forces, for recovery of personnel, search-and-rescue and, when necessary, as a slow mover interceptor.
The HH-101A has a cruise speed of 167 miles per hour, a range of 517 miles and a service ceiling of 15,000 feet. It is fitted with the latest-generation avionics and features a probe for in-flight refueling.
The Caesar will be flown by the Italian Air Force's 15th Wing, which conducts search-and-rescue missions and also other public service missions.
The aircraft was rolled out for the Italian media late last week at Cervia Air Base.