16 Agusta Westland helicopters in Norway

awNorway will sign a contract with Agusta Westland, a unit of Italian defence group Finmeccanica , for 16 search-and-rescue helicopters for 6.25 billion crowns ($1.01 billion), the Norwegian government said on Tuesday.

The government said in November it had chosen AugustaWestland for the final round of talks after a tender that also included Franco-German group Eurocopter, a unit of EADS , European defence group NHIndustries and Sikorsky, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

The signing of the contract, which will allow Norway to replace the existing fleet of Sea King helicopters by 2020, will take place on Thursday, the ministry said on its website.

Original article: http://www.reuters.com


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