OSLO Nov 8 Norway is in final negotiations with AugustaWestland, a unit of Italian defence group Finmeccanica , to buy 16 search-and-rescue helicopters for use from 2017, the country's justice and public security ministry said on Friday.
The other bidders were Franco-German group Eurocopter, a unit of EADS, European defence group NHIndustries and Sikorsky, a unit of United Technologies Corp, the ministry said.
The value of the deal was not disclosed. The Norwegian government will have an option to buy a further six helicopters.
New aircraft are to replace the existing fleet of Sea King helicopters by 2020.