LONDON, July 24 (UPI) -- AgustaWestland has signed a contract to provide Britain's Bristow Group with 11 AW189 helicopters.
The aircraft will be phased into service between 2015 and 2017 by Bristow and will be used for search-and-rescue operations in and around the country.
"We are delighted to sign this contract today with Bristow who has a long and proud history of providing life-saving SAR service," said Daniele Romiti, chief executive officer of AgustaWestland. "The selection of the AW189 for this prestigious SAR contract, after extensive evaluations of competing types, confirms that the aircraft is ideally suited to conduct this demanding role and we are confident that this success will lead to further success for the AW189 in the SAR role around the world."
The AW189 is a twin-engine, medium-lift aircraft with a cruising speed between 166 miles per hour and 173 mph. It has a range of 230 miles.
Bristow Helicopters Ltd. was awarded a contract by Britain's Department for Transport last March to provide SAR services throughout the United Kingdom for 10 years and selected the AW189 SAR variant as central platforms for the SAR program
The helicopters will be built at AgustaWestland's facility in Yeovil.
The contract for the helicopters -- plus training, maintenance and support services -- is worth about $363 million.