The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces took delivery Mar. 23 of its second EH101, the first built under license by Kawasaki Heavy Industries. AgustaWestland built and delivered the first.
AgustaWestland and Kawasaki signed an agreement in 2003 to produce and support the Japanese variant, dubbed the MCH101. The maritime force has ordered 14 EH101s to replace its Sikorsky Aircraft MH-53Es and S-61s in airborne mine countermeasures and Antarctic support missions.
The third of the 14 helicopters is now being built. AgustaWestland will begin assembly of the final 11 in Europe. Kawasaki is to complete them in Japan.