3 x 1,473 h.p. ea.
75 ft. 6 in.
22 ft. 2 in.
The Super Frelon (Super Hornet), officially Aerospatiale SA 321, is the largest production European helicopter. It was designed to meet requirements by France for a utility, mid size, military helicopter. Sikorsky aided in the overall design and Fiat manufactured the transmission and gears.
Prototype test flights began in December of 1962. The helicopter entered into service with the French military in 1966. It was originally equipped with radar, mounted in a nose pod, and Exocet anti-shipping missiles. It could also carry up to four anti submarine torpedoes. A later version of the Super Frelon was introduced as a transport helicopter. In addition to their maritime roles, the helicopters are used by France for aerial refueling of small Naval vessels, for supply replenishment, and search and rescue.
China, France, Iraq, Israel, Libya and South Africa all used the Super Frelon. In 1973 the aircraft saw action with Israel as an assault transport. In its war with Iran, Iraq utilized the Super Frelon against shipping.
A total of some 99 Super Frelon helicopters were produced by Aerospatiale. China also produced the Super Frelon under the designation Z-8.