AAR Airlift Group of Wood Dale, Ill., signed an order yesterday at Heli-Expo 2015 for two new-production AgustaWestland AW189s that will work under a contract for the UK Ministry of Defense. The helicopters will be delivered to AAR in October and November and enter service in the Falkland Islands by April 1, 2016. Although search and rescue was once exclusively a government/military function, AAR developed a commercial SAR program that meets CAA requirements.
Technical requirements of the SAR mission in the Falklands included all-weather SAR, helicopter emergency medical service, rescue hoist, night-vision imaging systems and passenger and cargo transfers.
The Falklands program will also include Sikorsky S-61 helicopters for support, flight operations, maintenance, logistics and facilities support.
Shown at the order signing are (left to right, front row) David Storch, chairman and CEO, AAR and Daniele Romiti, CEO, AgustaWestland and (rear) AgustaWestland commercial business unit v-p Americas Robert Brant and commercial business unit senior v-p Emilio Dalmasso.