Norway signs for 16 SAR AW101s

Norway signs for 16 SAR AW101s

19-Dec-2013 Source: AgustaWestland

AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a  contract for 16 AW101 helicopters plus support and training, valued at approximately £1 billion (€1.15 billion), to meet the Norwegian All Weather SAR Helicopter (NAWSARH) requirement. The contract also includes an option for six further aircraft.

The contract was signed at the end of a meticulous selection process that took into account technical features as well as risks and cost evaluations. The AW101 emerged once again as the best solution to meet  the stringent requirements issued by the Committee tasked with the selection. 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.

The contract signing ceremony was held in Olso today in the presence of Anders Anundsen, Minister of Justice and Public Security, and Daniele Romiti, CEO of AgustaWestland.

Aircraft deliveries to the Royal Norwegian Air Force, who will fly and operate the helicopters, will start in 2017 and continue through to 2020. The aircraft will be assembled at AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility in the UK.

As part of the contract, a fifteen year “turnkey” support solution will be delivered, comprising spares and technical support and training services, with an option for it to be extended for a further five years.

Daniele Romiti, AgustaWestland’s CEO said: “We are delighted that the AW101 has been awarded the  Norwegian All Weather SAR Helicopter contract following a very detailed evaluation process of all the alternatives. 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.”

He added: “The AW101 is recognized around the world as the most capable and advanced helicopter in its class and has proven its outstanding all weather and long range SAR abilities in service with the Royal Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Danish Air Force and Portuguese Air Force. Furthermore, the success reaffirms AgustaWestland’s excellence as a provider of advanced rotorcraft and comprehensive support solutions.”

“I am very pleased with signing the contract for new rescue helicopters” says the Minister of Justice and Public Security, Anders Anundsen. “This ensures a 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.  Additionally, search capability and the possibility for medical treatment are significantly improved.”

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. Safeguarding over 3000 jobs across their Yeovil plant and many more across the SME supply chain, this is a hugely significant order which demonstrates why drumming up jobs and investment for our country from overseas investors is crucial to rebalancing the UK economy. We’ve got our sights focused on helping more innovative British firms across the country compete in the global race and ensuring that more people share in our economic success.”

The aircraft will be equipped with an advanced SAR equipment package including a multi-panel AESA surveillance radar system from Selex ES that provides 360° coverage, 4-axis digital Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS), two rescue hoists, searchlight, electro optical device and a fully integrated avionics and mission system. The large cabin doors and rear ramp provide easy access for personnel, survivors and equipment into the 27 m3 cabin which has stand-up head room throughout.

AgustaWestland will provide initial support and training services, including spares at each of the operating bases and aircrew training. It will then provide performance based logistic support to deliver approximately 90,000 flying hours across the fleet of 16 helicopters over the initial 15 year period. In support of pilot training a full flight simulator will be available in Norway in 2016 in advance of the delivery of the first aircraft.

AgustaWestland has partnered with Norwegian companies AIM Aviation to provide maintenance services at the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s operating bases and with Kongsberg Defence Systems to provide helicopter transmission repair and overhaul services.

About the AW101

The AW101 continues to lead its class as the world’s most advanced and capable search and rescue helicopter available today featuring a large cabin, over 1,300 km range, high cruise speed, all weather operating capability, high reliability and safety – including a proven 30-minute “run dry” gearbox. Its cabin can accommodate 30-plus survivors, SAR equipment and crew, and the cabin can easily be reconfigured to meet specific mission requirements including for Special Police Operations.

additionally, the Norwegian government issued this:-

The Norwegian government has today signed the contract with AgustaWestland for the delivery of 16 new all-weather search and rescue (SAR) helicopters. Acquiring new rescue helicopters will be of major significance for the next 30 to 40 years and will substantially improve the Norwegian search and rescue service.

“The new helicopter has much greater range, better all-weather capability and greater speed than the Sea King helicopter. It will provide more safety for people at sea, along the coast and in remote areas across the country,” says Minister of Justice and Public Security, Mr. Anders Anundsen.

AgustaWestland Ltd. will deliver the new SAR helicopters with related equipment and maintenance solutions to replace the current Sea King. The contract includes 16 new SAR helicopters with an option for further six, and ensures that the Sea King will be phased out across the country by the end of 2020. The total investment cost of the contract is 6, 25 billion kroner (NOK).

The acquisition process started on October 21 2011 with the announcement of prequalification. Tender documents were released on July 12 2012 and the offers were received from four bidders on December 18 the same year.

Introduction of the new SAR helicopters will start in 2017.

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