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RNZAF completes first flight test of 'A109 helicopters'

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A file photo of Agusta A109 helicopters.

NEW DELHI (BNS): Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) successfully conducted the test flight of first of the five A109 helicopters of AgustaWestland, a media report said.

RNZAF will replace its Sioux aircraft with A109 light utility helicopters as it can carry three crew members and five passengers in a single flight. RNZAF will use the A109 helicopters to train pilots and helicopter crew for the force's newly acquired heavier-duty NH90s.

According to the Air Force Technology, RNZAF will receive the first two of the A109s by the end of 2010. They will perform light roles such as moving small groups, carrying light loads and rescue work with a winch.

By July 2011 AgustaWestland will deliver rest of the A109 helicopters to RNZAF, it said.

On 8th May 2008, AgustaWestland and New Zealand's Ministry of Defence signed a contract of worth 57 mn Euro for five AW109 LUH multi-role light twin turbine engine helicopters plus a dedicated flight simulator.

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