The new rescue helicopters to take over from the Sea King model were put into operation on Tuesday. The new model is named The SAR Queen.
To date, 8 of 16 new rescue helicopters have arrived in Norway. The supplier Leonardo Helicopter is scheduled to deliver three more of the AW101 model during the autumn/winter.
Symbolic handing over of a communications radio
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H) took the symbolic act of handing over a communications radio to the crew of the new helicopter. This in order to show that the SAR Queen is in the process of taking over the job of the Sea King helicopters. SAR stands for “Search And Rescue”.
– With this the rescue service has received a significant boost – both over sea and land – and it helps strengthen our overall preparedness, says Solberg.
– The new rescue helicopters will have far better range, greater speed and better ability to operate in bad weather than today’s Sea King helicopters. These properties mean that the helicopter can come to the rescue significantly faster than the current Sea King in almost all types of weather conditions, says Minister of Justice and Emergency Management Monica Mæland (H), who was also present at the celebration, together with the party colleague and Minister of Defense Frank Bakke-Jensen.
After a number of delays, the plan is for all helicopters to be in operation during 2022. The schedule depends, among other things, on the duration of infection control measures in connection with the coronavirus.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today