AW101 Norwegian All-Weather SAR Helicopter Unveiled by Norway’s Minister of Justice and Public Security
Leonardo-Finmeccanica announces the AgustaWestland AW101 Norwegian All-Weather SAR helicopter has been unveilled by Anders Anundsen, Norway’s Minister of Justice and Public Security, during a rollout ceremony held at Leonardo Helicopters’ Yeovil facility in south-west England.
Anundsen says, “This rollout 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.”
Daniele Romiti, managing director, Leonardo Helicopters, says, “This aircraft—the latest version of the AW101—can claim to be the world’s most capable and advanced SAR helicopter in the world. The combination of the platform’s large cabin, exceptional performance and all-weather capabilities, along with the very latest advanced sensors and mission equipment, give the aircraft unmatched capabilities. We look forward to starting deliveries next year and the AW101 taking over life-saving duties from the Westland Sea King that has served Norway for more than 40 years, saving thousands of lives.”
Aircraft deliveries to the Royal Norwegian Air Force, who will fly and operate the helicopters, 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-optic device, mobile telephone detection system and a fully integrated avionics and mission system.
The aircraft is also 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.
The large cabin doors and rear ramp provide easy access for personnel, survivors and equipment. The 27-cubic meters of cabin space has stand-up headroom throughout.
The AW101 benefits from three-engine safety, long-range and endurance, a full ice-protection system for flight in known icing conditions, a proven 30-minute “run dry” gearbox, as well as multiple redundancy features in the avionic and mission systems.