The Agusta A.106 was one of the early prototype helicopters at the dawn of Agusta’s helicopter manufacturing era. While Agusta was learning the ropes building other manufacturer’s design under license it put forward several designs of its own. The A.106 and A.101 are generally considered to be the best of Agusta’s early design work.
Flown in prototype form in 1966, the A.106 was specifically created for anti-submarine warfare, operating from the deck of a naval frigate.
The A.106 is a light, single seat, turbine powered helicopter that carries two Mk 44 torpedoes and contact identification equipment.
Apart from torpedoes, the A.106 can also be configured with machine guns, rockets or a conventional bomb dispenser.
The A.106 used a 320 shaft horsepower Turboméca Agusta TAA 230 shaft-turbine engine. Both the main and tail rotor were of a two-bladed design.
The A.106 had many special features that made it suitable for its intended mission. It had specialized instrumentation, much of it electronic, that allowed for operation in poor visibility. It was also possible to install auxiliary fuel tanks, medevac litters and inflatable emergency floats. There was also an underslung hook option for light lifting duty. Coupled with a folding tail-boom design and the A.106 became an attractive, versatile naval warfare vehicle.
Two prototypes were built and the Italian navy ordered five production units, so technically the A.106 qualifies as a production helicopter, albeit a very rare one. Production was however halted in 1973 and the project was abandoned.