Leonardo starts delivery of 16 AW101s to Norway
Leonardo has delivered the first of 16 AW101 helicopters to the Norwegian government for all-weather search and rescue missions.
After undergoing a period of operational test and evaluation at the Sola Air Base in southern Norway, the AW101s will enter service with the Royal Norwegian Air Force next year, and replace Sea King helicopters currently in service.
The other 15 helicopters will be delivered up until 2020 and will be deployed at each of the RNAF’s six main operating bases.
Bjorn Ivar Aarseth, Norwegian All Weather Search And Rescue Helicopter Project manager at the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security, said: “The delivery of the first aircraft marks a major milestone for the NAWSARH programme, and everyone is delighted to see the first AW101 in Norway.
“I would like to congratulate my team in the Ministry of Justice, key contributors within the Norwegian defence sector, Leonardo and all other industry partners on achieving the milestone.”
Jon Clark, Leonardo’s programme manager, said: “The AW101 we have developed for Norway is undoubtedly the world’s most capable SAR helicopter, and it is with great pride that we have delivered the first aircraft that will serve the people of Norway for decades to come.
“This contract is very much a long-term partnership, consisting of industry, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, the Royal Norwegian Air Force and the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency, which has a common goal to deliver a SAR service that’s second to none. We are all looking forward to the aircraft entering operational service in 2018.”
Leonardo is providing a complete turnkey support package for the AW101s, comprising spare parts, technical support and training.