AgustaWestland is pleased to announce that New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence has signed a contract for five AW109 LUH multi-role light twin turbine engine helicopters plus a dedicated flight simulator. The contract value is worth approximately 57 million Euro.
These helicopters, scheduled to enter service in 2011, will be operated by the Royal New Zealand Air Force to perform basic as well as advanced and operational conversion training tasks.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence selected AgustaWestland as the preferred tenderer in October 2007 following a rigorous and comprehensive evaluation process for the supply of training-light utility helicopters to the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), immediately starting contract negotiations.
The AW109 LUH will represent a significant advance in training activities for the service’s crews and will provide the NZDF with a seamless and cost effective platform to train pilots onto frontline helicopters such as the NH90 and Sea Sprite helicopters ensuring both land and naval capabilities.
In addition to this role, the five AW109 LUHs will also provide operational support for other government agencies, including Police, Customs, Department of Conservation and Ministry of Fisheries, carrying out air transport, search and rescue, aero-medical evacuation, disaster response and surveillance and counter terrorism support missions.
The AW109 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) has become the world’s best selling military light-twin helicopter, with orders for over 70 helicopters from various customers so far and the largest part of units already delivered, able to satisfy a wide range of land-based as well as sea-based requirements.
The AW109 LUH offers state-of-the-art mission-dedicated technology and equipment enhancing operational effectiveness while reducing pilot workload, together with unmatched performance, reliability, availability, serviceability and safety standards. Current operators worldwide use their AW109 LUHs in the most various and demanding weather and environmental conditions to perform several roles also including training, troop transport, medical evacuation, search and rescue, maritime patrol, observation, armed escort and anti-armour.
New Zealand Defence Force adds to a number of leading customers worldwide relying upon AgustaWestland as an established provider of both advanced specialized platforms and professional full mission and flight simulated and synthetic training services and solutions.
The AW109 LUH is already being operated for training tasks in Sweden, South Africa and Malaysia. Moreover, AgustaWestland and Boeing Australia Limited announced in February the sign of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that is seeing them working collaboratively to provide an innovative integrated helicopter aircrew training system based on the AW109 LUH.
New Zealand Orders Five AW109 LUH Helicopters