Tag Archives: NH90

Spanish Air Force

NHIndustries and its Partner Companies (Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo and Fokker) have delivered the first NH90 to the Spanish Air Force that will boost their Search and Rescue (SAR) and Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) mission capabilities.

First NH90 delivered to the Spanish Air Force for search and rescue missions

The Spanish Air Force will receive 12 NH90s intended to replace its aging fleet of AS332 Super Pumas and will be based in Cuatro Vientos, near Madrid. Spain has ordered a total of 45 NH90s in the tactical transport version, to be operated by the three Armed Forces. 13 helicopters have already been delivered to the Spanish Army Airmobile Force (FAMET) for the Maneuver III Battalion in Agoncillo.

Javier Salto, General of the Air Force highlighted that: «For the Spanish Air Force, the NH90 provides an essential asset capable of performing a wide range of missions, including tactical transport of troops and logistics support in peacekeeping or reconstruction missions and, of course, the main search and rescue missions in hostile conditions which is one of the most demanding and complex missions for helicopter units».

«The NH90 is particularly suited to operating in hot and high conditions and will prove to be a real asset to the critical missions performed by the Spanish Air Force», said Nathalie Tarnaud-Laude, Head of NH90 programme at Airbus Helicopters and President of NHIndustries.

The NH90 will provide all three of the Spanish armed forces with a versatile and modern transport system helicopter that offers unrivalled military capabilities.  The Spanish variant of the NH90 features next-generation General Electric CT7 8F5 engines, a personalized communications system and a sophisticated electronic warfare system developed by Indra and will be supported by training devices (including full flight simulators), automatic maintenance equipment (SAMe), and Automatic Mission Planning System (AMPS) developed as well by Indra. Airbus Helicopters in Spain is involved in the manufacturing of the fuselage and the avionics software development and integration.

Qatar Contract

Leonardo announces that it has made effective the contract, signed on March 14, 2018, for the supply of 28 NH90 medium twin-engine multirole military helicopters to the Ministry of Defense of Qatar and has therefore booked the order in its backlog and received the advance payment relating to the contract. Leonardo acts as overall prime contractor with responsibility for the management of the entire programme valued at more than €3 billion to the NHI consortium.

Qatar’s contract for 28 NH90 helicopters has come into force after Qatar made the first down payment on its $3.4 billion value; the order covers 16 TTHs tactical transports and 12 NFHs naval helicopters (MMI photo)
Qatar’s contract for 28 NH90 helicopters has come into force after Qatar made the first down payment on its $3.4 billion value; the order covers 16 TTHs tactical transports and 12 NFHs naval helicopters (MMI photo)

Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo CEO, stated: «We are proud to have made this important contract effective. We continue to be fully focused on executing our Industrial Plan aimed at ensuring long-term sustainable growth for the Group, also strengthening our commercial approach».

The Group Guidance for the full year 2018 is confirmed, as revised upwards on 30th of July in respect of higher order intake and FOCF to reflect the expected effectiveness of the NH90 Qatar contract, that had been only partially factored into Group Guidance, and the potential for certain export campaigns not to be full finalised by year-end.

Leonardo acts as overall prime contractor with responsibility for the management of the entire programme which includes 16 NH90 TTH for land operations, 12 NH90 NFH for naval missions, a comprehensive support, maintenance training services package and associated infrastructure. The programme could be further extended in the future with the addition of 6 + 6 units in a mix of TTH and NFH variants. Leonardo will be also responsible for the final assembly and delivery of the 12 NH90 NFH helicopters from its Venice – Tessera facility in Northern Italy and an eight-year support and training services package for crews and maintenance technicians. Meanwhile Airbus will be responsible for the final assembly of the16 NH90 TTH aircraft. Deliveries are expected to start before June 2022 and to continue through to 2025. Leonardo will also supply, contribute to and integrate various equipment, avionics and sensors.

Leonardo is responsible for or contributes to the design, production and integration of a wide range of NH90 critical components and systems. These include the rear fuselage, main gearbox, hydraulic system, Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS), plant management system, NFH mission system, power plant integration and final assembly of TTH and NFH aircraft for various customers at its Venice – Tessera facility in Northern Italy. Leonardo also integrates additional dedicated systems, avionics and sensors such as the Laser Obstacle Avoidance Monitoring (LOAM) system, radar, digital map generator, sonar and naval mission console. Weapon systems Leonardo contributes to comprise pintle mounted Gatling-type guns, torpedoes and air-to-surface missiles for Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) missions.

The largest military helicopter programme in Europe, the NH90 is the optimal choice for modern operations thanks to its fully composite airframe with a large cabin, its excellent power-to-weight ratio and its wide range of role equipment. It features a quadraplex fly-by-wire flight control system for reduced pilot workload and enhanced flight handling characteristics.

The NH90 is available in two main variants, one dedicated to naval operations, the NH90 NFH (NATO Frigate Helicopter) and the TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter) for land-based operations. As of today, over 350 helicopters have been delivered in NFH and TTH variants to customers in 13 nations. Aircraft in service have logged nearly 180,000 flight hours in a wide range of weather and environmental conditions, over land and sea. 543 NH90s have been ordered by customers worldwide to date.

The twin-engine, medium-size NH90 helicopter programme is managed by NHIndustries, which is owned by Leonardo, Airbus, and Fokker.

First Swedish NH90

On 17 December, Airbus Helicopters delivered the first Swedish NH90 in full anti-submarine warfare (ASW) configuration to the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration FMV (Försvarets Materielverk). The fully-qualified rotorcraft has an entirely customized mission system including underwater sonar, tactical radar and high cabin for improved interior space.

Specialized naval helicopter with underwater sonar system, tactical radar and high cabin
Specialized naval helicopter with underwater sonar system, tactical radar and high cabin

«In terms of versatility and customisability, the Swedish NH90 ASW demonstrates the benefits of an integrated, highly powerful, fly-by-wire helicopter platform», said Wolfgang Schoder, Head of Light and Governmental Programmes at Airbus Helicopters. «Specially tailored for its maritime missions and the operative environment in the Baltic Sea, this helicopter is best-suited for the customer’s requirements».

In total, Sweden has ordered 18 NH90, 13 equipped for Search-and-Rescue missions (SAR) and five in ASW configuration. In the frame of today’s delivery, FMV and the manufacturer NHIndustries have also signed a contract to modify four already delivered NH90 from SAR to ASW configuration, bringing the total Swedish NH90 fleet to nine ASW and nine SAR aircraft.

Prior to delivery, the aircraft has been thoroughly tested by the Swedish acceptance team in Donauwörth and over water in Marignane.

Several military services around the globe are already operating the NH90 in search & rescue, tactical transport, ASW or surveillance missions over sea. «With 260 NH90s already delivered to 13 different nations and nearly 100,000 flying hours in operation, this combat-proven helicopter is now confirming its worth at the hands of the most demanding customers around the globe», said Schoder.

Management of the NH90 program is handled by the NHIndustries consortium, which is owned by Airbus Helicopters (62.5%), AgustaWestland (32%), and Stork Fokker (5.5%).

External Dimensions
External Dimensions



Overall dimensions (rotors turning)
Length 64.18 feet/19.56 m
Width 53.48 feet/16.30 m
Height 17.42 feet/5.31 m
Maximum Gross Weight 23,369 lbs/10,600 kg
Alternate Gross Weight 24,250 lbs/11,000 kg
Empty Weight 14,109 lbs/6,400 kg
Useful Load 9,260 lbs/4,200 kg
Cargo Capacity
Cargo Hook 8,818 lbs/4,000 kg
Single or dual Rescue Hoist 595 lbs/270 kg
Rescue Hoist on ground 880 lbs/400 kg
Fuel Capacity
7-Cell Internal System 4,486 lbs/2,035 kg
Internal Auxiliary Fuel Tanks (each) 882 lbs/400 kg
External Auxiliary Fuel Tanks (each) 644 lbs/292 kg or 1,102 lbs/500 kg
Internal Dimensions
Width 6.56 feet/2.00 m
Length 15.75 feet/4.80 m
Height 5.18 feet/1.58 m
Volume 536.78 feet³/15.20 m³
Sliding doors opening 5.25 × 4.92 feet/1.60 × 1.50 m
Rear ramp opening 5.84 × 5.18 feet/1.78 × 1.58 m
NH90 General Performance (Basic Aircraft)
Maximum Cruise Speed* 162 knots/186 mph/300 km/h
Economical Cruise Speed* 140 knots/161 mph/260 km/h
Maximum Rate Of Climb* 2,200 feet/min/11.2 m/sec
One Engine Inoperative (OEI) Rate Of Climb 2 min Rating* 850 feet/min/4.3 m/sec
OEI Rate Of Climb Continuous Rating at 6,560 feet/2,000 m* 300 feet/min/1.5 m/sec
Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect (IGE)* 10,500 feet/3,200 m
Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect (OGE)* 8,530 feet/2,600 m
Maximum Range 530 NM/610 miles/982 km
Maximum Range with 5,511.5 lbs/2,500 kg payload 486 NM/559 miles/900 km
Maximum Endurance 5 h
Ferry Range (with Internal Aux Fuel Tanks) 864 NM/994 miles/1,600 km

* At 22,046 lbs/10,000 kg

Cargo Capacity
Cargo Capacity

German helo’s fleet

The German Ministry of Defense will next week submit to the Bundestag the helicopter procurement package it has renegotiated with Airbus HC, which covers 168 NH90, MH90 and Tiger helicopters at a cost of €8.7 billion, said the Defense-Aerospace.com. Thus, the first major arms deal concluded by Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen is much more expensive than it is expected before.

Tiger helicopter – the most accurate and lethal on the market
Tiger helicopter – the most accurate and lethal on the market

Precisely, that is about 430 million euros more than the Ministry of Defense’s previous plan, concluded in 2013 by Leyen’s predecessor Thomas de Maizière. The extra cost is due to the cost of spare parts and equipment for the so-called «Sea Lion» – MH90 naval helicopter, which was not included in the previous plan. These are the main points that emerge from a confidential submission by the Ministries of Finance and Defence to the Budget Committee of the Bundestag, and obtained by the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) news service and Spiegel Online.

Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen wants to end the long-running dispute over new helicopter procurement. This deal would be a first milestone of her term of office. Starting with the promise to clean up the chaotic field of armaments, she is renegotiating existing contracts. The new deal, although «not optimal», was «the best achievable result», according to an MoD staffer, who pointed out that the new MH90 Sea Lion helicopters are more capable than the naval NH90s which were originally planned.

According to the draft agreement, manufacturer Airbus Helicopters will receive 8.7 billion euros in payment for a total of 168 Tiger, NH90 and MH90 Sea Lion helicopters. That is about 240 million euros more than the 8.46 billion euros originally planned for 202 helicopters. The reduction in the number of helicopters was decided by Maizière as part of the Bundeswehr reform in 2011. Other weapons systems were also reduced, and negotiations were launched with several manufacturers.

The NH90 NFH is the most modern and the best naval helicopter in its class
The NH90 NFH is the most modern and the best naval helicopter in its class

The deal now agreed with Airbus calls for the following changes to the original contract:

  1. 68 instead of 80 Tiger combat helicopters for €3.55 billion instead of €3.77 billion. Only 40 Tiger will actually be used by the Bundeswehr, the others (older models already delivered) are to be used as spare parts.
  2. 82 instead of 122 NH90 transport helicopters for €3.77 billion instead of €4.69 billion.
  3. The Navy will also receive 18 MH90 (new designation) Sea Lions with special equipment for €1.38 billion.

The bottom line is that Airbus will deliver fewer helicopters (168) for more money, so instead of savings the new deal will bring additional costs. This is because, unlike her predecessors, von der Leyen has included the cost of technical support in her calculations.

Green Party MP Tobias Lindner says the Ministry has still failed in its reform. He says the Minister could have obtained more in her negotiations with Airbus: «Ursula von der Leyen has renegotiated de Maizière’s global deal, and though it has been renamed it is not substantially corrected». Overall, it remains «a bad and questionable deal, and anyone who found that the framework agreement of two years ago was bad, cannot approve this new deal».

The Budget Committee of the Bundestag is expected to decide next week on the helicopter deal, and German media consider it is highly likely that Bundestag will agree with the governing coalition’s plan.

NH90 TTH – a troop transport of up to 20 fully equipped troops
NH90 TTH – a troop transport of up to 20 fully equipped troops