Finmeccanica Helicopter Division announced 23 March 2016 that the first of 16 AgustaWestland AW101 medium helicopters for the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security performed its maiden flight at its Yeovil factory in the United Kingdom on 21 March 2016.
The maiden flight marks the start of the flight test programme that will lead to initial aircraft deliveries, for operation by the Royal Norwegian Air Force, in 2017. Aircraft deliveries will continue through to 2020.
In December 2013 the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security signed a contract for 16 helicopters plus support and training, to meet the Norwegian All Weather SAR Helicopter (NAWSARH) requirement.
Each aircraft is provided with an advanced Search and Rescue (SAR) equipment package including a multi-panel Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) surveillance radar system from Finmeccanica Airborne & Space Systems Division.