AgustaWestland has been awarded a contract to supply AW101 helicopters to the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RoNAF) to meet the Norwegian All Weather SAR Helicopter (NAWSARH) requirement.
Awarded following a comprehensive selection process comprising technical features validation and risks and cost evaluations, the £1bn contract covers the supply of 16 AW101 helicopters along with support and training, and also includes an option for six additional aircraft.
AgustaWestland CEO Daniele Romiti said, ”The new generation AW101 will bring new capabilities and is a worthy successor to the AgustaWestland Sea King which has successfully served Norway for more than 40 years.”
Norwegian justice and public security minister Anders Anundsen said the contract ensures significantly improved safety for people at sea, along the coast and in remote areas around the country.
”The new helicopters will be able to rescue significantly more people in distress, be noticeably faster and with longer range than today – under virtually all weather conditions,” Anundsen said.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said, ”This £1bn deal between AgustaWestland and the Norwegian Government is testament to the first class engineering skills we have right across the UK, while highlighting that this Government’s long-term economic plan is working.”
Under the contract, the company will deliver 15 year turnkey support solution, comprising spares and technical support and training services, with an option for extension for an additional five years.
Specifically, the company will provide initial support and training services, including spares at each of the operating bases and aircrew training using a full flight simulator, followed by performance-based logistic support for the fleet.
The Norwegian helicopter will feature an advanced SAR equipment package, including a multi-panel AESA surveillance radar system that provides 360° coverage, four-axis digital automatic flight control system (AFCS), two rescue hoists, searchlight, electro optical device, and a fully integrated avionics and mission system.
The aircraft will be assembled at the company’s Yeovil facility in the UK, while the deliveries will begin in 2017 and continue through to 2020.
Image: An AW101 medium helicopter during its flight. Photo: © 2012 AgustaWestland – A Finmeccanica Company.