Aerospatiale SA.321 Super Frelon

Aérospatiale Super Frelon

The Aérospatiale SA 321 Super Frelon is a heavy transport helicopter produced by Aérospatiale of France. The helicopter is still in use in China where the locally produced version is known as the Z-8. "Frelon" is French for a large European hornet.


Both civilian and military versions of the Super Frelon were built, with the military variants being the most numerous by far, entering service with the French military as well as being exported to Israel, South Africa, Libya, China and Iraq.

Three military variants were produced: military transport, anti-submarine and anti-ship.

The transport version is able to carry 38 equipped troops, or alternatively 15 stretchers for casualty evacuation tasks.

The Naval anti-submarine and anti-ship variants are usually equipped with a navigation and search radar (ORB-42), and a 50 metre rescue cable. They are most often fitted with a 20 mm cannon, counter-measures, night vision, a laser designator and a Personal Locator System. It can also be refueled in flight.


SA 3200 Frelon : Prototype. SA 321 : Pre-production aircraft. Four built. SA 321G : Anti-submarine warfare version for the French Navy. SA 321Ga : Utility and assault transport helicopter for the French Navy. SA 321GM : Export version for Libya, fitted with an Omera ORB-32WAS radar. SA 321H : Export version for Iraq, powered by three Turbomeca Turmo IIIE turboshaft engines, fitted with an Omera ORB-31D search radar, and armed with Exocet anti-ship missiles. SA 321F : Commercial airline helicopter. SA 321J : Commercial transport helicopter. SA 321Ja : Improved version of the SA.321J. SA 321K : Export version for Israel. SA 321L : Export version for South Africa. SA 321M : Search and rescue, utility transport helicopter for Libya. Changhe Z-8 : Chinese built version. Changhe Z-8A : army transport Changhe Z-8F: Chinese built version with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6B-67A turboshaft engines


Military Operators

Civil operators

Specifications (Naval Super Frelon)

See also

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