The AgustaWestland AW101 won Norway’s competition for a new search-and-rescue (SAR) helicopter. The win could be worth more than €1 billion if Norway buys 16 aircraft as planned and exercises options for another six. The AW101s will replace Sea Kings provided by Westland in the 1970s.
AgustaWestland proposed the AW101 in the same configuration as the Cormorant SAR version already sold to the Royal Canadian Air Force. Eurocopter’s EC725 was the losing finalist. Norway eliminated the Sikorsky S-92 and the EHI NH-90 from its competition last June. The Ministry of Justice and Public Security conducted the evaluation. Norway wants to introduce the AW101 in 2017 and phase out the last Sea King by the end of 2020.
The news will be welcome at AgustaWestland’s UK factory, where the Indian order for 12 VIP versions of the AW101 is being fulfilled. Only three were delivered before the bribery scandal erupted. The others are in various stages of completion at Yeovil.