The Italian Army’s UH-90A (NATO’s designation for the Italian Army’s NH90 TTH) multirole helicopter programme marked a major achievement with the completion of deliveries on 25 November. The 60th and final aircraft, assembled at Leonardo’s Venice Tessera facility, was handed over to the operator during an official ceremony in presence of representatives from the Italian Army and its Aviation unit, Italian Secretariat General of Defence / National Armaments Directorate, NAHEMA (NATO Helicopter Management Agency), NHIndustries, and Leonardo. The Italian Army is one of the first and largest NH90 operators, with 31,096 flight hours logged in Italy and abroad to date.
The UH-90A have played a critical role for years delivering outstanding operational capabilities, both in-country and abroad in demanding conditions with impressive availability rates and mission effectiveness. In June 2000, Italy signed an initial contract for a batch of 60 TTH for the Italian Army. The UH-90A helicopter fleet is distributed over three main Italian Army Aviation’s bases and its versatile configuration enables a range of missions, such as tactical troop transport, logistics support, special operations, cargo resupply and hoist operations, MEDEVAC (Medical Evacuation) and light tactical vehicle transport.
The aircraft has also supported disaster relief and emergency response operations in years. In recent years, the collaboration between the Italian Army and Leonardo has further evolved with the capability to deliver NH90 crew training to other operators. Leonardo’s Venice Tessera facility, covering 24,000 m2, is the Italian final assembly of the NH90s for various operators, including the Italian Army and the Italian Navy. The new plant started assembly of NH90s in 2010 and delivered its first aircraft in June 2011. The Venice Tessera plant is also playing an important role to deliver retrofits to the in-service helicopters for various operators.
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.