Safran Helicopter Engines has signed a contract with the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) to support the engines of its NH90 fleet operated by the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). This Support-By-the-Hour-Military (SBH®) contract formalises a long-term Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) and services agreement supporting a total of 21 RTM 322 engines. This contract will be managed by Safran Helicopter Engines Australia, in Sydney, which already supports more than 200 operators flying throughout the Pacific Islands (Papua New Guinea, French Polynesia), Australia and New Zealand.
Cédric Jochum, Safran Helicopter Engines Australia Managing Director said: “This SBH® marks a major milestone in the strong partnership that has been built over the last decade between the RNZAF and Safran Helicopter Engines Australia while supporting their engines”.
This contract demonstrates the relevance of the flight hour-based support model for RTM322-powered NH90 users. Today, 90 percent of RTM322 flight hours are covered by a Global Support Package (GSP) or SBH® flight hour-based support contract. SBH® is part of EngineLife® Services, Safran’s range of solutions for helicopter engines. SBH® is Safran Helicopter Engines’ support-by-the-hour program for Military operators. It makes engine operating costs predictable, eliminates cash peaks, allows flexibility for scheduled and unscheduled MRO coverage.
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. The first prototype conducted its maiden flight in December 1995; the type first entered operational service in 2007. As of June 2022, the NH90 has logged 327,053 flight hours in the armed forces of thirteen countries.