Three AgustaWestland A109 Power helicopters have entered service today with the Royal Air Force 32 (The Royal) Squadron at RAF Northolt to the west of London. The aircraft will be used for military and government communications flying.
Speaking about the event AgustaWestland’s CEO Giuseppe Orsi said, “We are delighted to see the A109 Power entering service with the Royal Air Force today, a historical event for both 32 (The Royal) Squadron and AgustaWestland, as it marks the entry into service of a new aircraft type and the entry of AgustaWestland into the important Civil Owned Military Registered market.“
“The A109 Power is the helicopter of choice worldwide in the light twin engine passenger transport market and we are sure 32 (The Royal) Squadron and its customers will be delighted with the comfort, speed and reliability of the aircraft.”
In early March 2006 RAF pilots underwent conversion to type training at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate facility in Italy and at Sloane Helicopters in the UK. In mid-March the aircraft underwent final preparation at Sloane Helicopters in the UK before delivery to 32 (The Royal) Squadron at RAF Northolt, with the first of the three aircraft arriving on 22nd March 2006. All three aircraft were delivered to RAF Northolt ahead of schedule and ready for service for the contracted start date of 1st April 2006.
The contract, signed only 11 months ago, was awarded to AgustaWestland following a competition, for the provision of a Civil Owned Military Registered (COMR) helicopter service for 32 (The Royal) Squadron. The contract for a total of 900 hours per year being met by three A109 Power helicopters marks the successful entry of AgustaWestland into the UK COMR market.
Under the five year contract, which includes options to extend the term, AgustaWestland has contracted Sloane Helicopters to provide maintenance and spares support services for the aircraft, including first line servicing at RAF Northolt. The aircraft will be flown by Royal Air Force pilots.
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