Leonardo announced today that the first of 16 AW101 all-weather search and rescue helicopters has been delivered to the Norwegian Ministry of Justice & Public Security. The aircraft departed Leonardo’s Yeovil facility 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 to 2020 with SAR operations being established with the aircraft deployed across each of the six main operating bases.
This is the first of 16 AW101s bought by the Royal Norwegian Air Force and replaces the Sea King helicopters currently in service with the RNAF.
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.