Rome March 23, 2016 (Google Translation) - Finmeccanica has today announced that the first of 16 helicopters AgustaWestland AW101 from search and rescue to Norway made its maiden flight last March 21, at the factory of helicopters division of Yeovil , UK.
The event, a key step in the development of the program for which proceeds on schedule, confirms the launch of the Flight tests, which will be followed, from 2017, the beginning of deliveries to the Ministry of Justice and Public Security Norwegian. The helicopters will be used by the Air Force Norwegian. Deliveries will be completed by 2020.
"I'm really pleased with this important result achieved by Finmeccanica under the program for our new search and rescue helicopter. Is taking another step in this way forward towards replacing, by 2020, the current Sea King aircraft with new, more modern AW101 "said the Minister of Justice and Public Security Norwegian Anders Anundsen. "I would therefore like to express my sincere gratitude to the staff of the company, which has made possible, thanks to his dedication and hard work, the fulfillment of this first flight."
The contract for 16 AW101 , intended to satisfy the requirement of Norway for a search and rescue helicopter of the latest generation, was signed by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security in December 2013 . The aircraft will be equipped with advanced mission equipment , including a modern electronic scanning radar (AESA - Active electronically scanned Array), built in the center of excellence of Edinburgh by the division Avionics Systems Space and Finmeccanica , and capable of providing a 360 ° coverage. The wide rear ramp allows the crew and relief organizations access to quickly and easily to the cabin of 27 cubic meters , high enough to allow the break up and easy adjustment of the mission material.
The Finmeccanica's Helicopters Division will provide an initial package of services support and training for each of the operational bases of the aircraft. The logistical support will enable 16 helicopters to fly for about 90,000 hours during the first 15 years of operations. It will also be provided to Norway a modern flight simulator for crew training prior to the start of deliveries of the AW101 .