Leonardo-Finmeccanica will start delivering AgustaWestland AW101 Norwegian All-Weather SAR helicopters in March 2017 and will complete by 2020.
The company made the announcement after it unveiled the new SAR helicopter at its Yeovil facility in south-west England Wednesday.
Minister of Justice and Public Security, Anders Anundsen said, “The helicopter will be an important and crucial resource for the Norwegian rescue service is now complete and ready for testing.”
Daniele Romiti, Managing Director, Leonardo Helicopters said, “We look forward to starting deliveries next year and the AW101 taking over duties from the Westland Sea King.”
Aircraft deliveries to the Royal Norwegian Air Force, who will fly and operate the helicopters, will start in March 2017 and continue through to 2020. As part of the contract, a fifteen year “turnkey” support solution will be delivered, comprising spares, technical support and training services.
The aircraft is equipped with an advanced SAR equipment package including Leonardo-Finmeccanica's newly-launched Osprey AESA radar. Based around a flat-panel antenna design, Osprey is a lightweight airborne surveillance radar to be built with no moving parts and will provide a 360 degree field of view for crews.
Other equipment includes a four-axis digital Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS), two rescue hoists, searchlight, electro-optical device, and mobile telephone detection system and a fully integrated avionics and mission system.
The aircraft is equipped with advanced systems that enhance flight safety including a Laser Obstacle Avoidance System (LOAM) and Obstacle Proximity LIDAR System (OPLS) which provide warnings of wires and other obstacles.
The AW101 benefits from three-engine safety, a full ice protection system for flight in known icing conditions, long range and endurance, a proven 30 minute “run dry” gearbox as well as multiple redundancy features in the avionic and mission systems.