Military derivatives of the twin-engined civil SA 365 and SA 366 Dauphin serve in various forms with 21 air arms. Sales were limited to small numbers principally for utility and VIP transport duties. The biggest customer was the US Coast Guard (USCG) which bought 99 HH-65A Dolphins for the short-range recovery SAR role.
Dedicated military versions are derived from the civil AS 365N Dauphin 2. The AS 365F is intended primarily for the anti-ship role, and features search radar, a towed MAD bird, anti-ship missile armament and avionics for mid-course targeting update of ship-launched anti-ship missiles.
A SAR variant has an advanced electronic flight instrumentation system flightdeck, a rescue winch and an automatic navigation system. Eurocopter also offers a more advanced ASW derivative equipped with dunking sonar, upgraded MAD, and torpedo armament.
Military variants have since been redesignated in the Eurocopter France AS 565 Panther series. Saudi Arabia received four search and rescue/surveillance AS 565MBs for ASW while Israel bought AS 565SAs (local name Atalef/Bat). France has 18 unarmed AS 565MA variants for search and rescue, sea surveillance and aircraft-carrier plane guard (Pedro) duties.
The Panther is also marketed in three basic land-warfare forms; armed AS 565AB; anti-tank AS 565CA and unarmed utility AS 565UB. Brazil acquired 36 AS 565AAs (local designation HM-1) primarily for general transport. In the PRC, the AS 365N has been built under licence as the Harbin Z-9 Haitun for the PLA Army Aviation Corps and PLA Naval Aviation. Harbin also markets an anti-tank variant.