Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust orders AgustaWestland AW169s

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Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust has placed an order for two AgustaWestland AW169 helicopters.

The order, which will be delivered in 2015, marks the entrance of the AW169 into the Australasian helicopter market, AgustaWestland said in a statement.

The helicopter's test programme is in progress and the company plans to conduct its first flight in 2012.

The 4.5 tonne AW169 has been designed in response to the growing market demand for an aircraft that delivers high performance and meets the latest safety standards and multi-role capabilities, the Finmeccanica's subsidiary said.

The helicopter is set to be the most advanced and cost-effective in its class for emergency medical services, search and rescue, law enforcement, passenger and offshore transport and utility missions, AgustaWestland added.

Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust is a New Zealand-based accident and emergency rescue provider.