AAR Airlift brings military expertise to SAR
March 5, 2015, Orlando, Fla. - AgustaWestland has announced it has signed a contract with AAR Airlift Group to provide two next generation AW189 helicopters to perform search and rescue in the Falkland Islands.
AAR Airlift Group has been awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence to deliver search and rescue services in the Falkland Islands, and will use a mix of two AW189s and two Sikorsky S-61s. The MOD’s existing fleet is comprised of Sea Kings and commercial S-61s.The AW189s will be delivered by the end of 2015 to support crew and personnel familiarization and will achieve operational readiness in spring 2016. AgustaWestland will also supply a comprehensive 10 year package of support and training services.
The event marks a further significant success for the new generation AW189 helicopter for search and rescue requirements, following the contract for 11 aircraft of the same type to meet the UK search and rescue requirement replacing the iconic Sea King helicopters. An established US Department of Defense service provider, AAR Airlift Group is now awarded its first contract by a European defence ministry. The AW189s will be operated out of Mount Pleasant Airfield on the South Atlantic islands with flight operations support from subcontractor British International Helicopters (BIH), performing missions in harsh environmental conditions where modern design and enhanced capabilities, extended range/endurance, and latest safety standards are key to demanding SAR mission accomplishment.
“We are leveraging AAR Airlift Group’s experience in austere environments to expand into the offshore SAR market,” said David P. Storch, Chairman & CEO, AAR Corp. “Based on our expertise in civil and military aviation operations, AAR has developed an advanced commercial SAR program that will be well served by the state-of-the-art AW-189.”
The AW189 8.3 / 8.6 ton, the latest helicopter produced and equipped by AgustaWestland to undertake SAR missions, builds on the Company’s heritage and expertise in search and rescue worldwide. The AW189, designed to meet the growing demand for modern long range, high capacity and endurance capabilities, has become the outright market leader in its class with over 130 units sold including framework contracts and options. The AW189 helicopter is part of AgustaWestland’s family of new generation helicopters that also includes the all new AW169 and the best selling AW139. These helicopters all possess the same high-performance flight characteristics and safety features whilst sharing a common cockpit design philosophy. This approach facilitates synergies for operators of these models in areas such as training, maintenance and support. The AW189 benefits from a modern maintenance and training approach, advanced HUMS (Health Usage Maintenance System) technology and an ever expanding global network of service and spare parts centres.
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