The first AgustaWestland A109LUH taining and light utility helicopters for the RNZAF have arrived in New Zealand.
The two helicopters, one of which is a non flying airframe which will be used as a source of spares, arrived at RNZAF Base Ohakea mid last week.
To be operated by 3 Squadron at Ohakea, the A109s will replace the RNZAF’s ageing, piston powered Bell B47G-3B-2 Sioux trainers. They are being acquired under a NZ$139 million contract signed in May 2008 for the acquisition of the five A109s, the additional A109 airframe to be used as a source of spaces, a simulator and a spares and support package.
The New Zealand government has been considering acquiring a further three A109LUHs.
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