AgustaWestland, an Anglo-Italian helicopter manufacturer, has been awarded a contract for 16 AW101 helicopters, plus support and training, valued at approximately £1 billion (€1.15 billion) for Norwegian search and rescue missions.
This new deal will meet the Norwegian All Weather SAR Helicopter (NAWSARH) requirement. The contract also includes an option for six further aircraft.
Aircraft deliveries to the Royal Norwegian Air Force, who will fly and operate the helicopters, will start in 2017 and continue through to 2020. The aircraft will be assembled at AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility in the UK.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This £1bn deal between AgustaWestland and the Norwegian Government is testament to the first class engineering skills we have right across the UK, while highlighting that this government’s long-term economic plan is working. Safeguarding over 3000 jobs across their Yeovil plant and many more across the SME supply chain, this is a hugely significant order which demonstrates why drumming up jobs and investment for our country from overseas investors is crucial to rebalancing the UK economy.”
Daniele Romiti, CEO of AgustaWestland, said: “We are delighted that the AW101 has been awarded the Norwegian All Weather SAR Helicopter contract following a very detailed evaluation process of all the alternatives. The new generation AW101 will bring new capabilities and is a worthy successor to the AgustaWestland Sea King which has successfully served Norway for more than 40 years.”