The Italian Army Aviation flight school reaches significant goal through Qatari pilot training, in cooperation with Leonardo. The strategic cooperation between Italian Army Aviation (AVES), Qatari Emiri Air Force (QEAF) and Leonardo enabled the 2,000 flight hours achievement through the training of Qatari crews on board an NH-90 helicopter. The training of Qatari personnel represents one of the Army Aviation’s flagship training activities and highlights its consolidated role as an international flight school for the military helicopter component.
In June 2000, Italy signed an initial contract 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. An NH-90 helicopter has been on duty with Army Aviation since 2007. During these years, the Units, which use the helicopter, gained a considerable operational experience, both nationally and internationally, in the multiple mission typology that this aircraft allows to carry out.
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 was developed and is manufactured by NHIndustries, a collaborative company owned by Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo (formerly AgustaWestland) and Fokker Aerostructures. As of November 2020, the NH90 has logged 265,372 flight hours in the armed forces of thirteen nations.
The NH90 is 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. Since its introduction into service, the NH90 has suffered several teething issues, which have delayed active deployment of the type by some operators.