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The first AgustaWestland AW101 Norwegian All-Weather SAR Helicopter was unveiled yesterday by Anders Anundsen, Norway’s Minister of Justice and Public Security, during a ceremony held at Leonardo Helicopters’ Yeovil facility in south-west England.
Minister of Justice and Public Security, Anders Anundsen (on right in photo with Leonardo Helicopters CEO Daniele Romiti), said “This roll out ceremony marks the accomplishment of a very important milestone. The helicopter that will be an important and crucial resource for the Norwegian rescue service is now complete and ready for testing. I am very pleased with the effort made by Leonardo Helicopters so far.”
Aircraft deliveries to the Royal Norwegian Air Force 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 the world’s first 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, mobile telephone detection system and a fully integrated avionics and mission system. Additionally, 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.