The Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) AS565 Panther is the military version of the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin medium-weight multi-purpose twin-engine helicopter. The Panther is used for a wide range of military roles, including combat assault, fire support, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, search and rescue, and medical evacuation.

During the 1980s, French aerospace firm Aerospatiale decided to develop a purpose-built military version of their popular Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin. The civil SA365 N variant of the Dauphin was used as the starting point for the project; the new rotorcraft was designed to perform utility, anti-tank, troop-transport, and maritime operations. On 28 February 1984, the military variant prototype, designated as the AS365M and later named Panther, conducted its first flight. A total of three prototypes were built.

In May 1986, Aerospatiale formally launched production of the AS365M, at which point the firm anticipated more than 400 Panthers to be sold in the long term. The first production model, which was initially designated as the AS365 K, was shortly re-designated and became widely known as the AS565 Panther. Early models were powered by a pair of Turbomeca Arriel 1M1 turboshaft engines; in 1995, Eurocopter began offering higher powered versions of the Panther that used the new Turbomeca Arriel 2C engine instead.

In February 2016, Airbus Helicopters promised to relocate the global production line for the AS565 Panther to India if it is selected by the Indian Navy for a proposed utility helicopter acquisition. In April 2016, the production rate of the AS565 Panther was announced to have been substantially increased following a switch from a static production line to a task flow line, as well as a 30 per cent reduction in component lead times.

The AS565 Panther is a twin-engine medium-sized multi-mission rotorcraft. It is capable of performing various naval and land-based missions, such as maritime security, search and rescue (SAR), casualty evacuation (CASEVAC), vertical replenishment, surveillance, special forces operations, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and Anti-surface warfare (ASuW).

The MTU Turbomeca Rolls-Royce MTR390 is a turboshaft developed for light helicopter applications by MTU Turbomeca Rolls-Royce (MTR).

The engine is designed to power helicopters in the weight range of 5-7 tonnes in both single and twin engine configurations. So far the only application is the Eurocopter Tiger.

Test runs of the MTR390 began in 1989 and the first test flight was performed in 1991. The MTR390 received military certification in May 1996 and civil approval in June 1997.


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