AAR

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AAR Commences Search and Rescue Operations for UK Ministry of Defence in the Falkland Islands.

Team AAR delivers first commercial SAR service to UK MOD.

WOOD DALE, Illinois, March 31, 2016 – AAR (NYSE: AIR) announces its Airlift division has commenced operations for Search and Rescue (SAR) and Support Helicopter (SH) services for the UK Ministry of Defence in the Falkland Islands.

AAR Airlift Group, together with British International Helicopters (BIH) and Air Rescue Systems (ARS), is delivering turnkey SAR and Support Helicopter services to the British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI) operations. Team AAR is providing Finmeccanica AW-189 SAR helicopters, Sikorsky S-61N support helicopters, flight operations, maintenance, logistics, facilities support, and personnel management at the Mount Pleasant Complex in the Falkland Islands and the surrounding maritime region. The mission includes 24/7/365 all-weather SAR, helicopter emergency services, rescue hoist operations and passenger and cargo transfers.

Following award of the 10-year, $275 million (£180 million) contract in January 2015, AAR sourced two new AW-189 aircraft customized by Finmeccanica to meet the program requirements. The aircraft were accepted in November 2015.  This program premiers the first Civil Aviation Authority approved AW-189s operating in a SAR role.

“AAR has integrated a team of industry experts to deliver to the UK Ministry of Defence a sophisticated commercial SAR service fit for a military and civil application, the first operation of its kind,” said Steven B. Harrison, President, AAR Airlift Group. “We are committed to providing a reliable, quality SAR service that maintains the standards of the Royal Air Force, as well as continued excellence for the commercial support helicopter services.”

AAR Airlift Group provides expeditionary airlift services in support of contingency operations worldwide. The Company provides passenger and cargo transport, air ambulance, night vision operations, search and rescue (SAR), airdrop, and other special mission services. AAR Airlift Group includes Rotorcraft Services, a provider of engineering and design for rotorcraft modifications and completions, asset sales, component repair, life cycle support programs, and field maintenance. AAR Airlift’s fleet of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft serves defense and NGO customers in Afghanistan, Africa, the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and Western Pacific, and now the Falkland Islands. Since 2005, AAR Airlift Group has flown more than 242,000 hours, delivering over 302 million pounds of mail and cargo, and transporting more than 1.9 million passengers in remote and austere locations around the globe.

British International Helicopters (BIH) is the largest British-owned helicopter operator with a fleet of 25 principally owned helicopters employing over 150 personnel. The company has particular expertise in offshore operations and in the defence sector, operating the Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) helicopter support programme for the Royal Navy and providing the Ministry of Defence with helicopter services in support of British forces in the Falklands.  BIH also provides Police and Air Ambulance capability and utility/commercial helicopter charter services. Rigby Group plc, the ultimate holding company for BIH, was formed in 1975 and is the parent company for a portfolio of privately owned and highly successful businesses operating across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

ARS is a premier provider of Advanced Helicopter Operations training solutions and delivers response services worldwide to Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement, Fire Department, Military, Utility and Commercial Operators. The company is an FAA 133 Certificate holder and FAA 141 training school with a focus on 133 operations. ARS’s state-of-the-art flight training facilities offer single and twin-engine aircraft and mountain, urban and off-shore advanced helicopter training operations. As an ISO 9001: 2008 Manufacturer of Advanced Helicopter Operations Equipment, ARS designs and builds the most innovative and safety oriented helicopter response equipment available.

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PRESS RELEASE – 4th March 2015

AAR Signs Contract for Two AW189 Helicopters for Falkland Islands Search & Rescue Requirement.

AAR will use the next generation helicopter to fulfill the UK Ministry of Defence SAR requirement

AgustaWestland will also provide ten years support and training services;
Delivery by year end
Important commercial SAR programme for the UK MOD

Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland announced today it has signed a contract with AAR Airlift Group to provide two new generation AW189 helicopters to perform search and rescue in the Falkland Islands.

AAR Airlift Group has been awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence to deliver search and rescue services in the Falkland Islands, and will use a mix of two AW189s and two S-61s. The MOD’s existing fleet is comprised of Sea Kings and commercial S-61s.The AW189s will be delivered by the end of 2015 to support crew and personnel familiarization and will achieve operational readiness in spring 2016. AgustaWestland will also supply a comprehensive 10 year package of support and training services.

‘We are leveraging AAR Airlift Group’s experience in austere environments to expand into the offshore SAR market,’ said David P. Storch, Chairman & CEO, AAR Corp.  ‘Based on our expertise in civil and military aviation operations, AAR has developed an advanced commercial SAR program that will be well served by the state-of-the-art AW-189.’

The event marks a further significant success for the new generation AW189 helicopter for search and rescue requirements, following the contract for 11 aircraft of the same type to meet the UK search and rescue requirement replacing the iconic Sea King helicopters. An established US Department of Defense service provider, AAR is now awarded its first contract by a European defence ministry. The AW189s will be operated out of Mount Pleasant Airfield on the South Atlantic islands with flight operations support from subcontractor British International Helicopters (BIH), performing missions in harsh environmental conditions where modern design and enhanced capabilities, extended range/endurance, and latest safety standards are key to demanding SAR mission accomplishment.

The AW189 8.3 / 8.6 ton, the latest helicopter produced and equipped by AgustaWestland to undertake SAR missions, builds on the Company’s heritage and expertise in search and rescue worldwide. The AW189, designed to meet the growing demand for modern long range, high capacity and endurance capabilities, has become the outright market leader in its class with over 150 units sold including framework contracts and options.

The AW189 helicopter is part of AgustaWestland’s family of new generation helicopters that also includes the all new AW169 and the best selling AW139. These helicopters all possess the same high-performance flight characteristics and safety features whilst sharing a common cockpit design philosophy. This approach facilitates synergies for operators of these models in areas such as training, maintenance and support. The AW189 benefits from a modern maintenance and training approach, advanced HUMS (Health Usage Maintenance System) technology and an ever expanding global network of service and spare parts centres.

Background Information:

AAR Airlift Group provides expeditionary airlift services in support of contingency operations worldwide. The Company provides passenger and cargo transport, aeromedical services, night vision operations, search and rescue (SAR), airdrop and other special mission services. AAR Airlift’s fleet of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft serves defense customers in Afghanistan, Africa, the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific.

AAR Corp. is a leading provider of diverse products and services to the worldwide commercial aviation and government/defense industries. AAR combines a close-to-the-customer business model with a broad range of capabilities to help customers operate more efficiently, lower costs and maintain high levels of quality, safety and service.

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