Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services AS, a company in Kongsberg Gruppen ASA (Kongsberg), has entered into agreement to acquire Patria Helicopters AS in Bardufoss from Patria Aviation Oy, a subsidiary of Patria Oyj. The formal takeover date is 1 July 2020.
"This acquisition strengthens our presence in and commitment to Bardufoss and this re-gion and makes us more able to support the NH-90 helicopters. This is a natural step in order to increase our ability to meet the future needs of the Norwegian Armed Forces for the efficient maintenance of their platforms," says Eirik Lie, the President of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS.
The acquisition is part of Kongsberg's long-term commitment to the operation and maintenance of the Norwegian Armed Forces' systems and platforms. The company bought a minority shareholding in Patria Oyj in 2016 and in 2019 a majority shareholding in the former AIM Norway AS, now Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services AS, where Patria is the minority shareholder. Since then, Kongsberg has entered into strategic coop-eration agreements with the Norwegian Armed Forces relating to the NH-90 helicopter and some of the Royal Norwegian Navy's systems.
In addition, Kongsberg signed a letter of intent with Boeing regarding the maintenance of the Norwegian Armed Forces' newly acquired P-8 maritime patrol aircraft on 18 June and signed a letter of intent with the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation regarding a strategic partnership on the P-8 on Monday this week.
“This Letter of Intent provides us the opportunity to build a cost-efficient operational con-cept for the maintenance of the P-8. The concept contributes to security of supply and a high operational readiness for the P-8. We look forward to further develop our strong rela-tions through this agreement”, says Petter Jansen, CEO Norwegian Defence Logistics Or-ganization.
"Kongsberg will cooperate with the Norwegian Armed Forces and help to maintain a quali-fied readiness level system of maintenance expertise in Norway and the Nordic region. This is an important factor in our strategy," says Lie.
The acquired company, Patria Helicopters, will be renamed Kongsberg Aviation Mainte-nance Services Bardufoss AS. It has operations at Bardufoss Airport with special responsi-bility for maintaining NH-90 helicopters.
There are plans to grow the company's activities, which means hiring new personnel and increasing the workforce to around 50-60 jobs over time. That involves a greater need for aircraft technicians, for instance. Troms and Finnmark County has recently decided to es-tablish an additional aircraft mechanics class at Bardufoss High School, and the first three apprentices will join Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services Bardufoss in August 2020.
In addition, Kongsberg Technology Training Centre AS (K-Tech), which is partly owned by Kongsberg, will establish operations at Bardufoss in the autumn of 2020. K-Tech is a cen-tre of education dedicated to technology and industrial subjects and, with its total of 64 apprentices, plays a very important role in the efforts to recruit people to this industry. The first three apprentices will start to work for Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services Bardufoss as early as in August 2020.
"We have already drawn on Patria Helicopters' sound expertise for a while. Our relation-ship with the Norwegian Armed Forces has been strengthened following the consolidation of Patria's and Kongsberg's operations in Norway. We now welcome the Bardufoss em-ployees to the Kongsberg family," says Lie.