Leonardo has delivered an AW101 SAR helicopter to Norway, the first of 16 aircraft ordered in 2013. The machine is due to enter service with the Royal Norwegian Air Force in 2018.
Leonardo has delivered the first of 16 AW101 all-weather search and rescue helicopters to the Norwegian Ministry of Justice & Public Security. The aircraft is part of a €1.15bn order placed in December 2013 which also included an option for six additional aircraft.
The AW101 departed Leonardo’s Yeovil facility on 17th November for Sola Air Base in southern Norway where the aircraft will enter a period of Operational Test & Evaluation (OT&E) before entering service with the Royal Norwegian Air Force in 2018.
Aircraft deliveries will continue through 2020 with SAR operations being established across six main operating bases. Equipment includes an advanced SAR package with a multi-panel Osprey AESA surveillance radar system from Leonardo providing 360° coverage.
Leonardo is providing initial support and training services, including spares at each of the operating bases and has recently completed the aircrew training for the initial group of aircrew. 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.
Leonardo has partnered with Norwegian companies AIM Aviation to provide maintenance services at the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s six operating bases and with Kongsberg Defence Systems to provide helicopter transmission repair and overhaul services in Norway.
An AW101 full flight simulator was commissioned in June 2017 at Sola Airport to provide in country training for aircrew in advance of aircraft deliveries and will be used by Norwegian aircrew and third parties to provide training that will both reduce training costs and improve safety by allowing crews to practice the full range of emergency procedures.