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Finnish Border Guard Orders Three AW119 Ke Helicopters

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AgustaWestland Helicopters
: 07 June, 2008  (Application Story)
AgustaWestland is pleased to announce that the Finnish Border Guard has chosen the AW119 Ke as its new helicopter to sustain its fleet modernization and enhancement programme.
A total of three AW119 Ke single turbine powered helicopters have been ordered with an option for one additional aircraft. These helicopters will be used to perform various tasks including border patrol, special operations and firefighting. These new helicopters will be delivered in 2010 and will operate from Helsinki and Rovaniemi (Polar Circle) bases, flying in the harshest environmental and weather conditions and covering the entire Russian border. Vice Adm. Jaakko Smolander, Chief of Border Guard and Italian Ambassador Elisabetta Kelescian attended the signing ceremony held in Helsinki today.

The AW119 Ke was selected as the best Helicopter in its class capable of carrying out a variety of demanding missions following a rigorous and comprehensive evaluation process by Finnish Border Guard officials, particularly focusing on performance and costs. The customer will also be provided with a dedicated training and support package.

This order marks the entrance of AgustaWestland’s AW119 Ke Helicopter into the European law enforcement and homeland security Helicopter market. Moreover, this purchase continues and strengthens the longstanding relationship between AgustaWestland and the Finnish Border Guard who recently achieved a significant accomplishment of 100,000 flight hours with its AgustaWestland supplied AB206 and AB412 helicopters.

The Finnish Border Guard‘s AW119 Ke helicopters will be fitted with dedicated tactical equipment and certified to perform NVG-capable missions. The AW119 Ke’s law enforcement and homeland security variant has a patrol time of approximately 5 hours and also has the largest cabin in its class which can be quickly reconfigured for different missions.

The Finnish Border Guard adds to a large number of leading customers operating this Helicopter type for homeland security and government purposes in several countries including the United States, Mexico and China. Over 170 helicopters including both the A119 Koala and AW119 Ke have been ordered to date in more than 20 countries by almost 80 customers to perform various roles such as law enforcement, EMS, VIP/corporate transport, offshore transport and utility.

The Finnish Border Guard is responsible for Finland's internal security, reporting to the Ministry of the Interior. The main functions of the Border Guard are guarding Finland’s land borders and territorial waters, carrying out passport control at border crossing points, ports and airports, as well as law enforcement, maritime safety and performing search and rescue operations, especially at sea.
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