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Jack Richardson 

Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services AS, part of Kongsberg, has entered into an agreement to acquire Patria Helicopters AS from Patria Aviation Oy, a subsidiary of Patria Oyj. The acquisition is part of Kongsberg’s long-term commitment to the operation and maintenance of the Norwegian Armed Forces’ systems and platforms. The company purchased a minority shareholding in Patria Oyj in 2016 and in 2019, a majority shareholding in the former AIM Norway AS, now Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services AS, where Patria is the minority shareholder. Since then, Kongsberg has entered into strategic cooperation agreements with the Norwegian Armed Forces relating to the NH-90 helicopter and some of the Royal Norwegian Navy’s systems.

In addition, Kongsberg signed a letter of intent with Boeing regarding the maintenance of the Norwegian Armed Forces’ newly acquired P-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft on 18th June, and signed a letter of intent with the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation regarding a strategic partnership on the P-8 on Monday this week. The acquired company, Patria Helicopters, will be renamed Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services Bardufoss AS because it has operations at Bardufoss Airport, with special responsibility for maintaining NH-90 helicopters.

Expansion plans

There are plans to grow the company’s activities, which means hiring new personnel and increasing the workforce to around 50-60 jobs over time, such as a greater need for aircraft technicians. Troms and Finnmark County has recently decided to establish an additional aircraft mechanics class at Bardufoss High School, and the first three apprentices will join Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services Bardufoss in August 2020. In addition, Kongsberg Technology Training Centre AS (K-Tech), which is partly owned by Kongsberg, will establish operations at Bardufoss in the autumn of 2020. K-Tech is a centre of education dedicated to technology and industrial subjects and, with its total of 64 apprentices, plays a very important role in the efforts to recruit people to this industry. The first three apprentices will start to work for Kongsberg Aviation Maintenance Services Bardufoss as early as in August 2020.