Leonardo-Finmeccanica has expanded its defence helicopter range with the addition of a new AgustaWestland AW101 Norwegian All-Weather SAR Helicopter (NAWSARH).

Norway signed a contract in 2013 for 16 AW101s and initial integrated support and training services for a period of 15 years.

NAWSARH, equipped with the company’s Osprey AESA radar will be delivered to the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

Leonardo-Finmeccanica said that Osprey is the world’s first lightweight airborne surveillance radar to be built with no moving parts and it will provide a 360 degree view.

Deliveries under the contract will begin in March 2017 and continue through to 2020.

"This aircraft, the latest version of the AW101, can claim to be the world’s most capable and advanced SAR helicopter in the world."

Leonardo Helicopters managing director Daniele Romiti said: "This aircraft, the latest version of the AW101, can claim to be the world’s most capable and advanced SAR helicopter in the world.

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"The combination of the platform’s large cabin, exceptional performance and all-weather capabilities along with the very latest advanced sensors and mission equipment give the aircraft unmatched capabilities."

The aircraft comes with a four-axis digital automatic flight control system (AFCS), two rescue hoists, searchlight, electro optical device, mobile telephone detection system and a fully integrated avionics and mission system.

It also features other advanced systems that improve flight safety including a laser obstacle avoidance system (LOAM) and obstacle proximity LIDAR system (OPLS) which provide warnings of wires and other obstacles.

Image: Norway signing contract for 16 AW101s in 2013. Photo: courtesy of Leonardo Finmeccanica Società per azioni.