The first of 16 AgustaWestland AW101s for the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MoJ) performed its maiden flight at Finmeccanica's Yeovil, U.K., plant March 21. This marks the start of the flight test program leading to aircraft deliveries for the Royal Norwegian Air Force in 2017 to continue to 2020.
The company said the Norwegian MoJ in December 2013 signed a contract for the helicopters plus support and training to meet the Norwegian all-weather SAR requirement based on a new-generation aircraft. Each aircraft is provided with an advanced SAR equipment package, including a multi-panel active electronically scanned array surveillance radar system.
Finmeccanica's Helicopter Division will provide initial support and training services, including spares at each of the aircraft operating bases and aircrew training. It will then provide performance based logistic support to deliver approximately 90,000 flying hr across the fleet of 16 helicopters over the initial 15-yr period of operation. In support of pilot training, a full-flight simulator will be available in Norway in advance of the delivery of the first aircraft.
Photo courtesy of Finmeccanica