|An NH90 of the German Army|
|Role||Medium transport/utility helicopter|
|First flight||18 December 1995|
|Primary users||French Army
Australian Defence Force
|Number built||244 as of July 2015|
The NHIndustries NH90 is a medium-sized, twin-engine, multi-role military helicopter. It was developed in response to NATO requirements for a battlefield helicopter which would also be capable of being operated in naval environments. The NH90 developed and is manufactured by NHIndustries, which is wholly owned by Airbus Helicopters, AgustaWestland and Fokker Aerostructures. The first prototype conducted its maiden flight in December 1995; the type began to enter operational service with some customers in 2007. As of 2013, a total of thirteen nations have placed orders for the NH90.
The NH90 has the distinction of being the first production helicopter to feature entirely fly by wire flight controls. There are two main variants, the Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) for Army use and the navalised NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH); each customer typically has various alterations and customisations made to their own NH90 fleets, such as different weapons, sensors and cabin arrangements, to meet their own specific requirements. In early service, the NH90 has suffered several teething issues, which has in turn delayed active deployment of the type by some operators.
- 1 Development
- 2 Design
- 3 Operational history
- 4 Variants
- 5 Operators
- 6 Notable accidents and incidents
- 7 Specifications
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
In 1985, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom teamed to develop a NATO battlefield transport and anti-ship/anti-submarine helicopter for the 1990s. The United Kingdom left the team in 1987. On 1 September 1992, NH Industries signed an NH90 design-and-development contract with NAHEMA (NATO Helicopter Management Agency). This agency represented the four participating nations: France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. Portugal later joined the agency in June 2001. Design work on the helicopter started in 1993. The first prototype, PT1, made the type's first flight on 18 December 1995. The second prototype, PT2, first flew on 19 March 1997 and the third prototype, PT3, on 27 November 1998. On 12 December 2002, PT3 became the first helicopter to fly exclusively with fly-by-wire controls following the removal of mechanical back-up controls.
The NH90 was developed into two main variants: the Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) and the NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH). These two main variants share about 75% commonality with each other. Furthermore, many of the operators have requested specific configurations to their own helicopter fleets, thus each nation's NH90 is effectively customized to the end-user's requirements. During the development phrase of the programme in the 1990s, both technical and funding problems were experienced. In June 2000, the partner nations placed a large production order, worth US$8.6 billion, for a total of 366 helicopters. Additional orders have since followed from customers in Europe, Asia, and Australia. By April 2013, a total of 529 NH90s of all variants were on order by various customers.
The NH90 was initially intended to be produced at three exporting assembly lines; Cascina Costa in Italy for AgustaWestland, Marignane in France and Donauwörth in Germany for Airbus Helicopters. The Nordic and Australian contracts stipulated production locally (the Nordic ones at Patria in Finland and the Australian ones in Brisbane). Spain has a final assembly line at Albacete. The Marignane assembly line can reportedly complete up to 22 NH90s per year.
Major components are produced by each of the shareholding companies:
- Airbus Helicopters France 31.25% (Engines, Rotors, the Electrical, flight control and the core avionics systems)
- Airbus Helicopters Deutschland 31.25% (Forward and centre fuselage, the fuel, communications and avionics control systems)
- Fokker 5.5% (Tail structure, doors, sponsons, landing gear and the intermediate gearbox)
- AgustaWestland 32% (Rear fuselage, main gearbox, hydraulic system, automatic flight control and plant management systems, power plant and the NFH mission system)
Items built by the shareholding companies are then distributed to the six locations for assembly and flight test (Marignane, France; Tessera, Italy; Donauworth, Germany; Halli, Finland; and Brisbane, Australia).
In late 2006, the German Army became the first customer to receive production NH90 aircraft. In April 2010, the Royal Netherlands Navy was the first customer to receive the navalised NH90 NFH variant. In 2013, NH Industries delivered a total of 50 NH90s to various customers. In June 2014, the consortium announced that they had completed delivery of the 200th NH90; at that point, the backlog of orders was reported as reaching out to 2020. In order to alleviate delays and reduce the complexity of manufacturing a large number of NH90 variants, NH Industries proposed the adoption of a simplified baseline airframe which could be configured to the individual customer's requirements. In October 2015, delivery of the 250th NH90, to the Italian Army, occurred.
Concerns over performance
In 2010, German newspaper Bild reported that German Army experts had concerns that the helicopter was not yet ready for the transportation of combat troops. They stated that the seats were only rated for 110 kg (240 lb), not considered enough for a fully equipped soldier. Heavy infantry weapons could not be adequately secured and the cabin floor was prone to damage, citing an anecdote of damage caused by footwear. The helicopter could only land on firm ground, with obstacles not exceeding 16 cm (6.3 in). Troops carrying full equipment could not use the rear ramp due to weight-limitations placed on it. Adding a door machine gun was not possible due to space taken by troop ingress and egress; there was also no provision for fast roping or paratroop equipment. In response, the German Defense Ministry proclaimed that this article referred to a prototype, not to the production model; the specifications for which were not even finalised at the time. The prototype evaluation and its results were described as a normal procedure in an ongoing design process.
In November 2011, the MRH90 program was placed on the Australian Department of Defence's "Projects of Concern" list. The most serious problem identified by a diagnostic review, which caused a brief grounding in 2010, is compressor blade rubbing caused by the bending of a spool in the Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322 engine due to uneven cooling after shutdown. Other problems identified include failure of transmission oil cooler fans, windscreen cracking, an inertial navigation system that is slow to align, and the weakness of the cabin floor to withstand the impact of soldiers’ boots – a problem also encountered in German service.
In March 2014, it was announced that a Dutch NH90 had suffered higher than expected fuselage wear and corrosion following an extended deployment at sea; analysis by the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory attributed the corrosion to design and assembly flaws. In response, NHI Industries launched a corrosion prevention programme and enacted several design modifications. In December 2014, Dutch NH90 deliveries, which had been temporarily halted earlier in the year, restarted after the majority of identified points were addressed and an agreement was made by the manufacturer to bear the cost of developing modifications, repairs, and preventive measures against corrosion.
The NH90 was designed to fulfill a NATO staff requirement for a multi-role, medium-sized military helicopter for both land and maritime operations. According to Flight International, the NH90 has the distinction of being the first helicopter in the world to be developed in line with NATO requirements. As such, the design of the NH90 meets with multiple national and international standards, including military airworthiness processes in Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands; conformance with FAR 29 and MIL-STDS design standards, as well as DEF-STN 00-970 icing conditions performance and electro-magnetic compatibility. It is produced in two principle variants, the battlefield Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) and the maritime NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH).
One key innovation of the rotorcraft is the four-channel fly-by-wire control system employed; the NH90 is the first helicopter in the world to be equipped with full fly-by-wire flight controls. A four-axis autopilot is also integrated with the fly-by-wire system, as are mission and navigation systems to enable greater autonomy during operations and to reduce pilot workload. The flight envelope of the NH90 is capable of all-weather day-and-night operations, ship-borne operations during high sea states, across a temperature range from -40 °C to +50 °C, and up to a maximum altitude of 20,000 feet. Power is provided by a pair of turboshaft engines, dependent on customer selection, the NH90 is either fitted with Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322 or General Electric T700E powerplants; exhaust gasses from the engines are filtered through an infrared suppression system for decreased sensory visibility. According to Airbus Helicopters, the NH90 possesses the lowest radar signature in its class, principally due to its diamond-shaped composite fuselage.
The NH90 featured an advanced composite airframe, designed for ballistic tolerance, a high level of crashworthiness, lower weight, and 30 per cent greater endurance than a metallic counterpart. The main rotor blades are also composed of composite materials, increasing fatigue strength and lifespan while providing for greater damage tolerance. The unobstructed main cabin area is entered either by large sliding doors on either side of the fuselage or via a rear ramp, the cabin is designed to accommodate modular equipment packages to enable the rotorcraft to be rapidly reconfigured, providing for operational flexibility. In a troop-transport capacity, the cabin can accommodate up to 20 fully-equipped soldiers, or up to 12 stretchers in a medical evacuation role, some light vehicles may also be transported; the main cabin is equipped with environmental control systems and sound proofing measures to improve passenger conditions.
The NH90 can be equipped with various mission-specific systems, including modular armor plating around the cabin area for undertaking high-risk missions and an ice protection system for operations within cold climates. It can also make use of the In-Hover Flight Refuelling System (HIFR) as well as additional internal and external fuel tanks to conduct extended range missions. Other equipment includes a wire strike protection system, rappelling system, hoist, cargo hook, search light and various seating options, including crashworthy foldable seats. For performing maritime operations, such tasked NH90s are typically equipped with the Harpoon deck-locking system, automatic main rotor blade and tail folding mechanisms, and other deck handling systems to conduct all-weather ship-borne operations; it is also typically outfitted with dipping sonar and sonobuoy processing equipment.
The NH90 features a range of customizable avionics systems, dependent on customer selection and purpose. On some models, French firm Thales Group provides various parts of the avionics, such as the glass cockpit, full-colour multifunction displays, tactical mission and encrypted communication systems, the TopOwl helmet-mounted sight/display, IFF and autonomous navigation systems, and the electrical power generation system. Other systems include a forward looking infrared (FLIR), weather radar, digital map generation system, enhanced ground proximity warning system, personal locator system, and VHF/UHF/HF tactical radios. In 2015, the NH90 became the first helicopter to receive an laser-based airborne collision avoidance system. Onboard mission systems feature a dual-redundant databus, are compliant with MIL-STD 1553, and are comprehensively managed via sensor fusion functionality. Customer demand for future avionics improvements such as new data links and communication systems, as well as additional electro-optical sensors, have been anticipated by the manufacturer.
In 2005, Australia ordered 12 aircraft to replace their aging fleet of Army UH-1 Iroquois helicopters. In June 2006, the Australian Defence Force announced plans to replace its UH-60 Black Hawk and Westland Sea King helicopters; a further 34 NH90s were ordered, for an ordered total of 46; four being manufactured in Europe, and 42 being manufactured locally by Australian Aerospace (an Airbus Helicopters subsidiary) in Brisbane. The type is designated MRH-90 Taipan, 'MRH' stands for Multi Role Helicopter. Six rotorcraft are operated by 808 Squadron of the Royal Australian Navy, which was reformed for the first time since its 1958 decommissioning in 2011, and recommissioned in 2013. The other 40 are operated by the Australian Army.
On 20 April 2010, an ADF MRH90 suffered a single engine failure near Adelaide, landing safely at RAAF Base Edinburgh. NHI Industries sent personnel to Australia to investigate the failure. On 18 May the ADF announced that the MRH90 fleet was grounded due to engine issues since the April incident. The cause of the failure was determined as the compressor blade contacting the engine casing, leading to new preventative inspections; flights resumed in July 2010. In June 2011, the NFH variant lost to the Sikorsky MH-60R in competition to replace the Royal Australian Navy S-70B Sea Hawks.
In July 2014, the Australian National Audit Office released a report on the MRH90, citing a series of procurement errors and development deficiencies delaying final operational capability (FOC), originally planned for that month, until April 2019, nearly five years later than planned. Some nine years after the initial contract was signed, the models first delivered in 2007 had not validated any of the 11 set operational capability milestones, and forced redesigns including bolstered cabin floors and windscreens, rappelling hooks, and door gunner positions; obtaining spare parts and sustaining the helicopters has also been more costly. The Australian Army will be forced to operate its aging S-70A Black Hawk beyond their planned retirement date. Due to the delays, Australia will receive an additional helicopter, for a total of 47. By September 2015, most of the MRH90's flaws had reportedly been addressed.
In 2007 Belgium signed on for an order of 10 aircraft, 4 TTH, 4 NFH and an option for 2 TTH. In September 2012, NHI performed the first flight of the Belgium’s Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH), which is broadly similar to the French NH90 “Caiman” version. In January 2013, eight NH90s were on firm order. On 1 August 2013, Belgium received its first NH90 NFH at Full Operational Capability (FOC). On 23 October 2013, Belgium's first NH90 TTH entered service, the last was delivered on 13 November 2014. From first delivery until the last, three NH90s flew 34 hours a month for a total of 450 flight hours with a 67 percent availability rate, making Belgium one of the type's most intensive users. Two NH90 NFHs for the navy were delivered, the final two were delivered by early 2015 to replace their Westland Sea King helicopters. On 21 August 2015, the Belgian Navy declared its NH90s had attained initial operational readiness; on 28 August 2015, the first rescue mission performed by a Belgian Navy NH90 took place.
In July 2015, the Egyptian Navy entered negotiations for the purchase of 5 NH90 NFH helicopters, these are intended to serve onboard its newly acquired FREMM frigate Tahya Misr and 4 Gowind corvettes that are also on order. The NH90 helicopters will all be of French standard. In October 2015, it was reported that negotiations for a "large quantity" of NH90s had reached an advanced stage.
In October 2001, Finland signed a contract for 20 NH90 TTHs for the Finnish Army to replace their ageing fleet of Mil Mi-8 helicopters. In March 2008, NH Industries began NH90 deliveries to Finland; deliveries had been delayed from an initial 2004 date, to minimize further delay, aircraft were first delivered to an Initial Operational Configuration (IOC-) and Nearly Operational Configuration (IOC+), to be later modified by Patria into a Final Operational Configuration (FOC). In September 2011, the Finnish Defence Forces and Patria signed an agreement to provide ballistic protection for onboard personnel across the NH90 fleet.
In June 2011, nine Finnish NH90s participated in the Finnish Defense Forces' main field exercise, transporting 157 soldiers across 320 kilometers in two rotations; their performance was described as having exceeded expectations. In January 2015, it was reported that Finnish NH90s had been experiencing considerable reliability issues, at one time in 2014 fleet availability dipped to 19%, and some spare parts had up to seven months waiting time. By early 2015, the combined NH90s fleet had accumulated a total of 7,000 flight hours, and had an availability rate of 40%. On 18 June 2015, delivery of the final Finnish NH90 took place. In November 2015, the availability rate was reported as having surpassed 50 percent.
The French government had initially ordered a total of 34 NH90 TTHs, for the ALAT and 27 NFH for the Navy. Both versions will be named "Caïman" and final assembly will be carried out by Airbus Helicopters. The French Army had intended to buy 68 NH90; however, the April 2013 defence review could have cancelled the contract for the second batch of 34. Under the "Bonn rebate" deal, France receives a 12% discount on its 68 Army helicopters; a November 2012 Senate report put the French TTH per unit price at €28.6M after discount, set on the assumption of total orders of 605 aircraft by 2020. Cuts to France's order would result in workshare reallocation; possibly including French Navy NFH90s being assembled in Italy and Fokker performing maintenance of French TTHs. On 29 May 2013, France formally ordered the second batch of 34 NH90 TTHs for just under €1 billion. In January 2016, France placed an order for six additional NH90 TTHs.
The French Army took delivery of its first NH90 TTH in December 2011. On 21 December 2012, the French Navy received their first NH90 NFH in final operating capability. In December 2010, the NH90 formally achieved in-service status with the French Navy, being initially used to perform search and rescue and maritime counter-terrorism operations. The first seven aircraft were delivered to an interim "Step A" configuration; following aircraft were delivered to the "Step B" standard and are forecast to be delivered at a rate of two per year until 2020. The French Navy formally cleared the type to perform anti-surface warfare duties in 2012, clearance to perform anti-submarine warfare missions followed in 2013, allowing the NH90 to take over the missions previously performed by the Navy's Westland Lynx and Aérospatiale Super Frelon helicopter fleets.
On 3 November 2014, the French Army Light Aviation deployed two of its NH90s to Mali; both helicopters had been fitted with three additional fuel tanks to fly the four day ferry flight to the region. In June 2015, it was announced that plans for French special forces to operate NH90s had been accelerated, and that the 4th Special Forces Helicopter Regiment were to assist in defining the need for customisations to the type for undertaking special operations.
The German Army chose to procure the troop transport variant; in January 2013, a total of 80 aircraft were on order for the Army. In addition, the German Navy also considering the procurement of up to 30 NFH for their new Maritime Helicopter in 2009. In March 2013, the German government chose to reorganise the NH90 procurement; the Army's fleet of 122 NH90s was reduced to 82; 18 NH90s previously ordered for the German Army were converted to the NFH maritime variant for the Navy instead. On 26 June 2013, the German defense committee declared that the order for a combined 202 NH90 and Tiger helicopters were to be reduced to 157. In December 2014, Germany announced that, in addition to the 80 troop transports firmly on order, it was considering an option for an additional 22 NH90s; it was investigating the possibility of setting up a multinational helicopter unit to operate these 22 helicopters as a shared NATO resource with other nations using and contributing to the force.
In July 2012, the German NH90 fleet reached a combined total of 5,000 flight hours. In April 2013, up to 4 German Army NH90 TTH were deployed in Afghanistan in a Forward Air Medical Evacuation role in support of coalition forces operating in the country. On 23 June 2013, German Army NH90s were declared operationally capable of medical evacuation operations. Following an engine failure and controlled crash in Uzbekistan in July 2014, the German Army temporarily grounded the type for investigation. In December 2015, it was announced that production of the German Navy's variant of the NH90 NFH, named Sea Lion, had formally commenced; a refit of the German Army's TTH variant was also underway at the same time.
In August 2003, Greece ordered 20 NH90s with an option for 14 more. By April 2014, eight NH90 TTH aircraft had been delivered and three more expected by the end of 2014. In early 2013, the German newspaper Bild alleged that Airbus officials paid 41 million euros in bribes to Greek officials to secure the order; Airbus stated in response that the claim was "groundless".
In June 2000 Italy signed on for a batch of 60 TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter) for the Italian Army, along with a further 46 NFH (NATO Frigate Helicopter) and 10 TTH for the Italian Navy. On 30 December 2007, the first NH90 TTH was formally handed over to the Italian Army. On 23 June 2011, the Navy received its first NH90, which was delivered to an interim MOC (Meaningful Operational Capability) standard, capable of performing training, search and rescue, and utility operations; anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities were not initially available until aircraft are retrofitted to a FOC (Final Operational Capability) standard. In May 2013, the Italian Army took delivery of the first NH90 TTH of a FOC standard; in November 2013, the Italian Navy took delivery of their first FOC-standard NH90 NFH.
In 2012, Italy deployed a total of 5 Army NH90 TTHs to support troops participating in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. The NH90s, which were air-transported individually by allied Boeing C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft, replaced six Agusta/Bell 205s in performing tactical transport and medevac operations; Army Aviation Commander Gen. Enzo Stefanini stated that "...in Afghan conditions, the NH90 is delivering performance 15 percent above what was envisaged".
The Netherlands, one of the original supporters of the programme, has 20 units on order: 12 NFH for the Royal Netherlands Navy, and 8 TNFH for the Air Force. In 2010, the Royal Netherlands Navy became the first customer to receive the NFH variant.
In 2009, concerns surfaced that design changes had made the helicopter too heavy to operate from Dutch frigates for which they were ordered. In June 2014, the Dutch government decided not to accept the last batch of 7 NH90s due to some 100 shortcomings found in relation to the design, manufacturing and material choice of the aircraft, in particular corrosion in the presence of salt water. In December 2014, NH90 deliveries restarted after the Dutch government came to an agreement with the manufacturer, under which modifications and necessary repairs against corrosion would be made at the manufacturer's cost; 75 of the 100 shortcomings were also reported as having been solved.
In April 2013, the Navy deployed the type onboard HNLMS De Ruyter (F804) to fight piracy in the Gulf of Aden. In November 2014, the Royal Netherlands Navy deployed a single NH90NFH to Somalia to support Operation Atalanta in Somalia.
In July 2006, the New Zealand Government signed a NZ$771 million (~€500M) contract to purchase eight NH90s (plus one extra for spares) to replace the Royal New Zealand Air Force's (RNZAF) fleet of 13 UH-1 Iroquois. For ease of manufacture and logistics, New Zealand deliberately chose their NH90 configuration to be near-identical to the larger Australian fleet. On 7 December 2011, deliveries to New Zealand formally began with the first two NH90s being airlifted by a leased Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft to RNZAF Base Ohakea. In February 2013, the first phase of the RNZAF's operational evaluation of the NH90 was completed, clearing the type to begin operational duties.
Between September 2013 and July 2014, the first four delivered NH90s were retrofitted to a final operational configuration; later aircraft were already delivered to this standard. On 31 October 2014, the RNZAF announced that they had received into service the last of the eight NH90 TTHs. Following command structure changes in December 2014, the NH90 fleet was tasked with additional responsibilities, including casualty evacuation during search and rescue operations and providing transport services to the New Zealand Police and other government personnel. In April 2015, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee questioned the inability of the NH90 fleet to contribute to relief efforts in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam, revealing that the fleet may be refitted with an automated blade and tail folding system to better enable ship borne deployments in the future.
In December 2011, the first Norwegian NH90 helicopter was delivered. In July 2012, the Norwegian Deputy Defence Minister Roger Ingebrigtsen announced that "once our current Westland Lynx helicopters reach their end of life in 2014, we are going to have replacement helicopters on our naval vessels. If the NH90 hasn’t been delivered, we will purchase another helicopter...considering that the aircraft were to be delivered by 2005, and that delivery is yet to start by 2012, our confidence in the producer isn't exactly on the rise" In August 2012 it was reported that the Royal Norwegian Air Force would be recommending that the Department of Defence contact Sikorsky to verify whether versions of the H-60 Seahawk, specifically the MH-60R, would be a viable alternative to the NH-90 in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) role. Defence Minister Espen Barth Eide stated "We still believe the marine version of the NH90 to be the optimal platform, and we hope to purchase it, but there are limits to our patience." By January 2013, Norway had ordered a total of 14 NH90s.
In July 2004, the Sultanate of Oman issued an order for a total of 20 NH90 TTHs for the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO). To cope with the extreme flight conditions of the Middle East, RAFO NH90s are equipped with enhanced power plants; the type is to replace the Agusta/Bell 205A and Agusta/Bell 212 used for tactical transport and search and rescue operations. On 23 June 2010, the first two NH90 TTHs were delivered to the RAFO at Musana Air Base. By July 2012, ten NH90s had been delivered to the RAFO; in Omani service, the NH90 has established an endurance record, flying 700 nautical miles without refueling during a 5-hour 21 minute-long mission.
On 20 May 2005 the Council of Ministers authorised the acquisition of 45 NH90 TTHs; in December 2006, it was announced that a procurement contract for the Spanish Armed Forces had been signed. The Spanish NH90 variant features domestically-assembled General Electric CT7 8F5 engines, customised communications suite, and Indra-developed electronic warning systems. The original budget for the procurement was for €1,260 million; by 2010, this had grown to €2,463M. In June 2012, it was announced that Spain was negotiating to cut their purchase to 37 aircraft. On 18 December 2014, Spain took delivery of the first NH90 TTH, which had been assembled at Airbus Helicopters Albacete facility; by this point, the order had been reduced to a total of 22 NH90s of the TTH variant.
In 2001, Sweden signed a contract for 18 NH90 TTH, made up of 13 TTT[lower-roman 1]/SAR and 5 SAR/ASW to be operated by the Swedish Air Force. Because of renewed foreign submarine activity at the Swedish coast in 2014 it was decided in 2015 that four TTT/SAR would be modified to SAR/ASW in order to increase the anti-submarine warfare capability, so there will be 9 TTT/SAR and 9 SAR/ASW. The NH90 is known as the Helikopter 14 (HKP14) in Swedish service, the FOC version of TTT/SAR are designated HKP14E and the FOC version of SAR/ASW are designated HKP14F.
By November 2015, Sweden had ordered 18 NH90s with ten helicopters delivered. Sweden did not expect their NH90s to be operational until 2020 and ordered 15 UH-60M Black Hawks in 2011, Sweden deployed four of their new Black Hawks to Afghanistan in March 2013. In December 2015, the first Swedish NH90 in a full ASW configuration was delivered; around the same time, Sweden opted to convert four TTTs on order to the ASW configuration instead.
Portugal was the fifth nation to join the programme with an order for ten transport NH90 in June 2001; it was intended for these to equip the Portuguese Army Light Aviation Unit. However, in July 2012, fiscal consequences of the Great Recession led Portugal to cancel the order, despite having already spent €87m on the project, in order to save another €420m in acquisition and running costs to 2020.
- Saudi Arabia
In July 2006, the Saudi Government agreed to purchase 64 NH90s. Then in October 2007 the government changed its plans, and agreed to buy 150 Russian-made Mi-35 and Mi-17 helicopters instead.
NFH: NATO Frigate Helicopter
The primary role of the NFH version is autonomous anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface unit warfare (ASuW), mainly from naval ships. These aircraft are equipped for day and night, adverse weather and severe ship motion operations. Additional roles include anti-air warfare support, vertical replenishment (VERTREP), search and rescue (SAR) and troop transport. France are splitting their purchase between the "NFH version combat" costing €43.3m in FY2013 and the "NFH version soutien" (support) at €36.4m in FY2013.
TTH: Tactical Transport Helicopter
The primary role of the TTH version is the transport of 20 troops or more than 2,500 kg of cargo, heliborne operations and search & rescue. It can quickly be adapted to MEDEVAC/CASEVAC missions by fitting up to 12 stretchers or cargo delivery capability. Additional roles include special operations, electronic warfare, airborne command post, parachuting, VIP transport and flight training.
Sweden has bought the High Cabin Version (HCV) of the TTH, in which the cabin height is increased by 24 cm (9.4 in) to 1.82 m (6.0 ft). The Swedish aircraft have a Tactical Mission System developed by SAAB and are designated HKP14. Finnish and Swedish TTHs are called Tactical Troop Transports (TTT) in some contexts.
- Swedish military designation for NH90 TTH
- MRH-90 Taipan
- Australian military designation for NH90 TTH
- Italian military designation from 2012 for NH90 NFH.
- Italian military designation from 2012 for NH90 TTH.
Notable accidents and incidents
On 1 June 2008, a NH90 tactical transport helicopter struck the water and sank into Lake Bracciano, northwest of Rome, Italy. The helicopter was diving after completing a Fieseler Maneuver at the Lake Bracciano Air Show. Aircraft Commander Captain Filippo Fornassi was killed and co-pilot Captain Fabio Manzella was injured in the accident. The helicopter was a hull-loss.
- Crew: 2 pilots (and possible sensor operator on NFH)
- Capacity: 20 seated troops; or 12 medevac stretchers; or 2 NATO pallets; or 4,200 kg (9,260 lb) external slung load
- Length: 16.13 m (52 ft 11 in)
- Rotor diameter: 16.30 m (53 ft 6 in)
- Height: 5.23 m (17 ft 2 in)
- Empty weight: 6,400 kg (14,100 lb)
- Useful load: 4,200 kg (9,260 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 10,600 kg (23,370 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322-01/9 turboshaft, 1,662 kW (2,230 shp) each, or:
- Powerplant: 2 × General Electric T700-T6E turboshaft, 1,577 kW (2,115 shp) each
- Maximum speed: 300 km/h (162 knots, 186 mph)
- Range: 800 km, 497 mi (TTH); 1,000 km, 621 mi (NFH) ()
- Service ceiling: 6,000 m (20,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 8 m/s (1,574 ft/m)
- Missiles: anti-submarine and/or air to surface missiles (NFH version), 2x door gun
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- AgustaWestland AW149
- AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat
- Mil Mi-38
- Eurocopter EC 725
- Eurocopter AS532 Cougar
- Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk
- Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone
- Tactical Troop Transport
- Sgarlato, Nico (April 2008). "Gli NH-90 dell'Esercito". Aeronautica&Difesa (in Italian).
- "Delivery of the 20th NH90 To Finland". NHIndustries. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
- Tran, Pierre (8 April 2013). "Eurocopter: Dropping NH90 Order Would Hurt France, Firm". Defense News. The French Senate reported in November 2012 that the French Army would be paying €28.6m/unit after France's 12% Bonn rebate, implying a price of €32.5m which is consistent with prices quoted for e.g. the New Zealand order (see NZ section). Prices are under review given the current shortfall in orders compared to what was budgeted for.
- "Projet de loi de finances pour 2014 : Défense : équipement des forces et excellence technologique des industries de défense" (in French). Senate of France. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 2014-07-01.
- Perry, Dominic. "Rotor club: Our top 10 most influential helicopters." Flight International, 21 November 2014.
- Frawley, Gerald. "NHIndustries NH 90". The International Directory of Military Aircraft, 2002/2003. Aerospace Publications, 2002. ISBN 1-875671-55-2.
- "NAHEMA". Coleman.t. January 19, 2007. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
- "NH90 Helicopter – 3rd Prototype in Flight". Press Release. Eurocopter. November 27, 1998. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
- MacKenzie, Christina. "NH90 prototype takes off with fly-by-wire controls." Flight International, 5 January 2004. p. 15.
- Hoyle, Craig. "IN FOCUS: NH90 Caiman cuts teeth with French navy." Flight International, 19 June 2013.
- "Aircraft profile: NH Industries NH90". Flightglobal.com. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
- "Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands Place $8.6 Billion Order for NH-90". Defense Daily. 9 June 2000. Retrieved 6 August 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (. ))
- Tran, Pierre (8 April 2013). "Eurocopter: Dropping NH90 Order Would Hurt France, Firm". Defense News.
- "News Breaks", Aviation Week & Space Technology, 1 January 2007.
- "Spain performs its maiden flight of NH 90". eurocopter.com. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- "NH Industries - The Company". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- First Dutch NH90 NFH delivered |Australian Aviation Magazine
- Perry, Dominic. "NH Industries plans 'simplified' NH90 for future customers." Flight International, 25 June 2014.
- "250th NH90 helicopter delivered." Shepard Media, 16 October 2015.
- Bundeswehr NATO-Hubschrauber NH90: Modernster Helikopter der Welt hat viele Mängel – Politik. Bild.de
-  Archived February 26, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- "Projects of Concern Update". Minister for Defence and Minister for Defence Materiel press release. Department of Defence (Australia). November 28, 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- "MRH90 recommencement of flying operations". Ministerial press release. Department of Defence (Australia). 22 July 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- Perrett, Bradley (10 January 2012). "Australian NH90 Delayed Further". Aerospace Daily and Defense Report. Aviation Week. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- Gravemaker, Anno (19 March 2014). "Dutch maritime NH90s suffer corrosion". flightglobal.com. Reed Business Information. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
- Perry, Dominic. "Dutch NH90 deliveries to resume." flightglobal.com, 16 December 2014.
- "Requirements Basis." NHI Industries, Retrieved: 20 December 2014.
- Moxon, Julian. design "Wired into the Future." Flight International, 8 September 1998.
- "NH90." AgustaWestland, Retrieved: 9 January 2016.
- "NH90." Airbus Helicopters, Retrieved: 9 January 2016.
- "Designs for RTM322 variant at 'advanced stage'." Flight International, 13 October 2003.
- "On board the NH90." Thales Group, Retrieved: 20 December 2014.
- "First Finmeccanica – Selex ES anti-collision laser system operational on Italian Army NH90 TTH helicopter." Finmeccanica, 16 October 2015.
- "34 NH90 Additional Helicopters for Australia". NHIndustries.com. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- "Defence to spend $2b more on choppers". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2006-06-19. Retrieved 2006-06-19.
- "Australian Government Orders 12 NH90 Helicopters". 2005-02-06.
- "Australia Gets first NH 90". nhindustries.com. 18 December 2007. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- "Navy commissions 808 Squadron and new helicopter". Department of Defence. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
- Defence grounds choppers after engine malfunction. ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) News
- Defence grounds new chopper fleet. ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) News
- Francis, Leithen (28 July 2010). "Australia finds MRH90 engine failure due to compressor blade fracture". Flightglobal. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- Gunner, Jerry. "MH-60R beats NH90 for Australia Navy contract". Key Aero Aviation News, 17 June 2011.
- Australian auditors slam bungled NH90 procurement - Flightglobal.com, 29 July 2014
- Minister for Defence and Minister for Defence Materiel (9 May 2013). "MRH90 helicopter Project of Concern progress". Department of Defence. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
- Perrett, Bradley. "Airbus Fixing Remaining Australian NH90 Faults." Aviation Week, 18 September 2015.
- "Nahema signs contract for 10 NH90 helicopters for Belgium". 19 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- "FIRST FLIGHT OF THE BELGIAN NH90". nhindustries. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- "World Air Forces 2013" (PDF). Flightglobal Insight. 2013.
- "Belgium Receives its First NH90 NFH Naval Helicopter." Deagel, 1 August 2013.
- "Belgium Receives Last NH90 Troop Transport Helicopter." Aviation Week, 17 November 2014.
- Jennings, Gareth. "Belgium declares IOC for naval NH90 helo." IHS Jane's Defence Weekly, 23 August 2015.
- Fiorenza, Nicholas. "Belgian NH90 Helicopter Conducts First Rescue Mission." Aviation Week, 31 August 2015.
- "Egypt towards buying NH90 NFH?". pressreader.com (Air & Cosmos:2nd page) (in FRA). 24 July 2015.
- "Egypt is About to Procure an NH90 NFH Maritime Helicopter for its New FREMM Multi-Mission Frigate". navyrecognition.com. 26 June 2015.
- Dubois, Thierry. "Egypt, France In Discussions Over NH90 Helicopter Buy." AIN Online, 5 October 2015.
- "FINLAND SIGNS THE CONTRACT FOR 20 NH90 HELICOPTERS". nhindustries.com. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- "Finnish Army Aviation Takes Delivery Of Its First NH90". NHI Industries. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
- "Finland Receives Suila’s NH90 Program Lessons Report." Defense Industry Daily, 5 March 2008.
- Suila, Keijo. "Finland’s Helicopter Programme." defmin.fi, March 2008.
- "Finnish NH90 helicopters to receive Patria ballistic protection." Patria, 1 September 2011.
- Chéry, Stéphane. "Finnish NH90 helicopters demonstrate their operational capabilities: More than 150 soldiers are airlifted over a 320 km. distance in five hours." Airbus Helicopters, 21 June 2011.
- "Finnish NH90s creep towards 50% operational serviceability rate". www.flightglobal.com. Reed Business Information. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- Stevenson, Beth (23 January 2015), "Finnish NH90s creep towards 50% operational serviceability rate", Flightglobal, Reed Business Information, retrieved 26 January 2015
- "Maavoimat vastaanotti vuosien odottelun jälkeen viimeisen NH90-kopterin". Iltalehti. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
- Simola, Anitta (9 November 2015). "Puolustusministeri Niinistö: Maavoimien helikoptereiden hankkiminen oli virhe". Aamulehti. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
- "Hélicoptère CAIMAN Marine". French Navy.
- "Le NH90 français s'appellera Caïman". Mer et Marine. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
- "France says orders 34 NH90 helicopters from NHIndustries." Reuters, 29 May 2013.
- Svitak, Amy. "France Orders Six Additional NH90 Helicopters." Aviation Week, 7 January 2016.
- "French Army receive first NH90TTH helicopters". lignes de défense. Retrieved 2011-07-01.
- "NH90: Eurocopter celebrates two firsts with Belgium and France". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Lert, Frédéric. "France deploys NH90 to Mali". Jane's Defence Weekly. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Lert, Frédéric. "Paris Air Show 2015: French special forces look to modify NH90." IHS Jane's Defence Weekly, 18 June 2015.
- "German Navy to decide soon on their new Maritime Helicopter". Defpro. 20 March 2009.
- "Germany finalises cuts to NH90, Tiger helicopter orders". Retrieved 2013-03-19.
- "Ausschuss stoppt de Maizières Hubschrauber-Deal". 26 June 2013.
- Perry, Dominic. "Germany proposes 'shared' multinational NH90 helicopter fleet." Flight International, 1 December 2014.
- "NH90: Europe’s Medium Helicopter Now Available for NATO Pooling." Defense Industry Daily, 2 December 2014.
- "Germany’s Bundeswehr Reaches the 5,000 Flight-Hour Milestone With Its NH90 Fleet." Eurocopter, September 2012.
- "Afghanistan: Tiger und NH90 leisten ihren Beitrag". bundeswehr.de. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- German NH90s Operational In Medevac Role – Aviationweek.com, 25 June 2013
- Kucera, Joshua. "Helicopter Crash Complicates Germany-Uzbekistan Base Negotiations." eurasianet.org, 28 October 2014.
- Jennings, Gareth. "Germany begins NH90 Sea Lion production, retrofits for TTH variant." IHS Jane's Defence Weekly, 1 December 2015.
- "Greece Signs the Contract for 20 NH90 Helicopters Plus 14 in Option". NHIndustries.com, 1 September 2003.
- "Eighth NH90 delivered to Greek Armed Forces.". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Airbus Helicopters rejects bribery allegations in Greek NH-90 deal." Reuters, 23 March 2015.
- "Four European Nations give NH-90 Production Go-ahead". nhindustries.com. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- Hoyle, Craig. "PICTURE: Italian army receives first NH90 transport helicopter." Flight International, 9 January 2008.
- Peruzzi, Luca. "PARIS: Italy receives first naval NH90 helicopter." Flight International, 23 June 2011.
- "Italian Army Takes Delivery of Its First NH90 TTH Helicopter in FOC Configuration." AgustaWestland, 2 May 2013.
- "Italian Navy Receives First NH90 NFH in FOC." AgustaWestland, 11 November 2013.
- Niels Hillebrand. "MILAVIA Military Aviation Specials - Italian Army NH90 in Afghanistan: one year and 1000 flight hours". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Kington, Tom. "Plagued by Delays, NH90 Helos Head to Afghanistan Air Base." Defense News, 4 September 2012.
- "First Flight of Royal Netherlands Navy NH90 NFH". NHIndustries. 10 August 2007.
- "NH90 vliegt voor het eerst ’s nachts met nachtzichtapparatuur". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- AirForces Monthly December 2013 edition page 48-54
- "The Royal Netherlands Navy Takes Delivery Of Its First NH90 NFH". helis.com. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- "Nieuwe NH-90 helikopter te zwaar voor fregatten.". Volkskrant.
- "Volkskrant". volkskrant.nl (Dutch). 27 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- Reed Business Information Limited. "Corrosion issue halts Dutch NH90 deliveries". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "Kamer: schade NH90 verhalen". NOS.nl. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "The Netherlands deploys NH90 for the first time". shephardmedia.com. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- Administrator. "Royal Netherlands Navy NH90 NFH Helicopter first operational deployment for Somalia Mission". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- Coleman, Jonathan (9 March 2012). "New NH90 Helicopters launched". New Zealand Government.
- Jennings, Gareth. "New Zealand receives final NH90 helo." IHS Jane's Defence Weekly, 30 October 2014.
- "NH90: Retrofit of New Zealand’s fleet completed." Airbus Helicopters, 31 July 2014.
- "NH90 takes over key helicopter." Sunlive, 21 December 2014.
- Kirk, Stacey. "Gerry Brownlee: NH90 helicopters purchase 'interesting'." stuff.co.nz, 2 April 2015.
- "Norway takes Delivery of their First NH 90". nhindustries.com. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- "Forsvarets nye superhelikopter er sju år forsinket". tv2.no. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- Gotzhein, Christina (9 July 2007). "First NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter for Oman Performed Maiden Flight at Airbus Helicopters in Marignane". Eurocopter.
- Parsons, Gary. "News: Oman finally gets its first NH90s." AIR International, 30 June 2010.
- Vogelaar, Rob. "Delivery of 2 NH90 to the Royal Air Force of Oman." aviationnews.eu, 2 July 2012.
- "King Juan Carlos I Takes to the Air in the Spanish NH90 Helicopter." Airbus Helicopters, 17 September 2012.
- Ministerio de Defensa (September 2011). "Evaluación de los Programas Especiales de Armamento (PEAs)" (PDF) (in Spanish). Madrid: Grupo Atenea. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
- Perry, Dominic (27 June 2012). "Eurocopter continues NH90 talks with cash-strapped nations". Flight International.
- Perry, Dominic. "Spain takes first NH90 helicopter and enhanced Tigers." Flight International, 18 December 2014.
- "Sweden Signs Contract for NH90". nhindustries.com. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- "Sweden chooses NH90". 19 September 2001. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
- "Airbus Helicopters delivers the first Swedish NH90 for anti-submarine warfare". Airbus Helicopters. 17 December 2015.
- "Helikopter 14". Swedish Armed Forces. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "Sverige köper Black Hawk". aftonbladet.se. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
- "Sikorsky Meets Accelerated UH-60M BLACK HAWK Helicopter Deliveries for Sweden". Sikorsky, 17 November 2011.
- Pocock, Chris. "Swedes Accept First NH90 for ASW after Long Delay." AIN Online, 29 December 2015.
- Osborne, Tony. "Sweden Takes Delivery Of Long-Delayed Anti-Sub NH90." Aviation Week, 17 December 2015.
- Barreira, Victor (3 July 2012). "Portugal ducks out of NH90 programme". Jane's: Defense & Security Intelligence & Analysis. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012.
- Perry, Dominic. "Portugal looks to cancel NH90 helicopter order." Flight International, 27 July 2012.
- de Briganti, Giovanni (25 July 2006). "Saudi Arabia Launches Huge Arms Buying Spree; France to Net Most Orders". Defense Aerospace.
- "France Loses Out as Saudis Sign $2.2 Billion Deal for Russian Helos". defense-aerospace.com. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- "NH90 First Delivery For Sweden". NH Industries. 20 June 2007.
- "Helikopter 14". Swedish Armed Forces. Archived from the original on November 12, 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "Utilizzo della nomenclatura 'Mission Design Series' (MDS) Nelle Pubblicazioni Tecniche (PPTT) di competenza della DAAA" (PDF). Ministero Della Defesa. June 2011.
- "World Air Forces 2014" (PDF). Flightglobal Insight. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "808 Squadron". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Peruzzi, Luca (2008-06-05). "Italian army NH90 TTH fatal crash; no flying restrictions to remaining fleet". Flight International. Retrieved 27 June 2008.
- "MM81519" Helis. Retrieved: 24 August 2012.
- "MM81519 E.I.202 2008 NHI NH-90 TTH C/N 1008/GITA03" Airport data. Retrieved: 24 August 2012.
- Frawley, Gerald. "NH Industries NH 90". The International Directory of Military Aircraft, 2002/2003. Fyshwick, Act: Aerospace Publications, 2002. ISBN 1-875671-55-2.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to NHIndustries NH90.|
- NH90 page on NHIndustries' site
- NH90 page on Royal New Zealand Air Force site
- "NH90: Europe’s Medium Helicopter Contender". defenseindustrydaily.com
- "Eurocopter rejects criticism of NH90 helicopter by ‘secret report’". defpro.com
- www.marinehubschrauber.de. Homepage for the MH90-NG (German NH90 NFH Variant)