On Friday 17th March, NHIndustries celebrated the delivery of the 500th NH90 medium-sized military helicopter. This delivery marks a symbolic milestone and a remarkable achievement since the first delivery in December 2006 to the German Army. On this occasion, representatives from NAHEMA, Nations and Partner Companies came together in Airbus Helicopters’ facilities in Marignane to celebrate the handover of this new helicopter to the French Army Aviation. The 500th delivery is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of hundreds of individuals who have been involved in the development, production, and maintenance of the NH90. It is also a testimony to the strength of the partnership between Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo, GKN Fokker, and all of our suppliers committed to this Program.
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. The NH90 is a proven military helicopter that continues to be a reference in modern military aviation.
The NH90 was designed to fulfill a NATO staff requirement for a multi-role, medium-sized military helicopter for both land and maritime operations. The NH90 has the distinction of being the first helicopter in the world to be developed in line with NATO requirements. As such, the design of the NH90 meets with multiple national and international standards, including military airworthiness processes in Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands; conformance with FAR 29 and MIL-STDS design standards, as well as DEF-STN 00-970 icing conditions performance and electro-magnetic compatibility. It is produced in two principal variants, the battlefield Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) and the maritime NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH).
The German Army chose to procure the troop transport variant. The first three serial production NH90s were delivered to the German Army in December 2006. By January 2013, a total of 80 aircraft were on order for the army. In 2009, the German Navy was also considering the procurement of up to 30 NFH for its new Maritime Helicopter. In March 2013, the German government chose to reorganise the NH90 procurement; the Army’s fleet of 122 NH90s was reduced to 82; 18 NH90s previously ordered for the German Army were converted to the NFH maritime variant for the navy instead. The Navy’s version, known as the NH90 Sea Lion, is based on the NH90 NFH. The Sea Lion first flew on 8 December 2016.