On March 23, Finmeccanica announced the first of 16 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters for the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MoJ) successfully performed its maiden flight at its Helicopter Division’s Yeovil factory in the UK on 21st March 2016.
The successful on-schedule maiden flight marks a major milestone and the start of the flight test programme that will lead to initial aircraft deliveries to the MoJ, for operation by the Royal Norwegian Air Force, in 2017. Aircraft deliveries will continue through to 2020.
«I am very pleased that Finmeccanica has reached this important milestone in the Search And Rescue (SAR) helicopter project and thereby making good progress for the replacement of the aging Sea King helicopter with the new state-of-the-art AgustaWestland AW101 by 2020», says the Minister of Justice and Public Security, Mr. Anders Anundsen. «I would furthermore like to bring my sincere gratitude to the dedicated and hardworking team at the company who have made this first flight possible in time».
In December 2013 the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security signed a contract for 16 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters plus support and training, to meet the Norwegian All Weather SAR Helicopter (NAWSARH) requirement based on a new generation aircraft. Each aircraft is provided with an advanced SAR equipment package including a multi-panel Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) surveillance radar system from Finmeccanica Airborne & Space Systems Division, built at the company’s Edinburgh centre of excellence, that provides 360° coverage. The large cabin doors and rear ramp provide easy access for personnel, survivors and equipment into the 27 m3 cabin which has stand-up head room throughout.
|Maximum Take-Off Weight (int./ext. loads)||34,390 lbs/15,600 kg|
|Powerplant||3 × GE CT7-8E (Take-Off: 3 × 2,527 shp) with FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Controls for Turbine Engines)|
|Take-Off power (5 min)||3 × 1,884 kW/3 × 2,527 shp|
|Intermediate (30 min)||3 × 1,855 kW/3 × 2,488 shp|
|Maximum Continuous Power||3 × 1,522 kW/3 × 2,041 shp|
|One Engine Inoperative (OEI) Maximum Contingency (2 min)||3 × 1,880 kW/3 × 2,522 shp|
|5 cell tanks (self-sealing)||5,135 L/ 1,357 US gal|
|Overall length||22,83 m/74,92 feet|
|Overall height||6,66 m/21,83 feet|
|Main rotor diameter||18,6 m/61 feet|
|Cruise speed||150 knots/173 mph/278 km/h|
|Hovering In Ground Effect (IGE)||3,307 m/10,850 feet|
|Maximum Range||735 NM/845 miles/1,360 km|
|Maximum Endurance||6 h 30 min|
|Armoured protection in cockpit, cabin and seats|
|Anti-ship missiles and torpedoes|
|Crew Served Weapons (3 × 12.7-mm/7.62-mm machine guns)|
|Multi-purpose rocket/cannon pods|