9-Nov-2011 Source: Eurocopter
The NH90 program has reached a major milestone with the declaration of compliance for the NH90 TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter) variantâ€™s Final Operational Configuration, This marks the NH-90 TTHâ€™s development completion, and enables deliveries to begin before year-end in the helicopterâ€™s full operational definition.
â€œThe milestone marks the most important achievement in the life of the NH90 program. NH90, the most modern rotary-wing aircraft in its class and the largest military helicopter program ever undertaken in Europe, offers now its full range of operational capabilities to the military forcesâ€ stated Lutz Bertling, the President and CEO of Eurocopter, which is a member of the NH90 industrial team. â€œCompleting the NH90 TTHâ€™s compliance process confirms this multi-role helicopter will meet the specifications and operational requirements of the founding customers.â€
The declaration of compliance was issued by the NATO Helicopter Management Agency (NAHEMA), which is the North Atlantic Treaty Organizationâ€™s function that manages the NH90 acquisition for the participating countries.
With this go-ahead, the initial NH90 TTH variant in the final operational configuration is to be received by the French Army. It will be followed by the startup of deliveries in 2012 to Italy, Belgium and Germany.
The new-generation NH90 TTH is designed for use in a wide range of demanding missions, including logistics and utility transport, combat search and rescue, casualty and medical evacuation, electronic warfare, special operations and counter-terrorism.
In its approved final operational configuration, the helicopter offers a matured avionics system, allowing day and night missions with no major restrictions; full military communications system functionality for interoperability in foreign operations; a complete set of technical publications; and the approval for overseas deployments by ship.
Produced in two basic versions â€“ the Tactical Troop Transport and NATO Frigate Helicopter â€“ this 11-metric-ton class rotary-wing aircraft provides a common platform for army and navy and air force roles, enabling countries to rationalize their helicopter fleets while also organizing training and support on a larger scale, with flexible management of personnel and equipment. Its large cabin, rapid access (with two lateral sliding doors and optional rear ramp) and quick role-change capability ensures mission flexibility for multiple operational scenarios.
To date, a total of 529 NH90s have been ordered by 14 nations, of which 418 are for the Tactical Transport Helicopter version. Six NH90 final assembly lines are now operational in France, Germany, Italy, Finland, Australia and Spain under direction of the pan-European NHIndustries industrial organization â€“ which is owned by Eurocopter (62.5%), AgustaWestland (32%), and Fokker Aerostructures (5.5%). More than 80 NH90s have been delivered to military services, with these aircraft logging some 19,100 flight hours.