The Belgian government has decided today, during a Council of Ministers, to procure 10 NH90 helicopters, consisting of 8 firm orders (4 TTH and 4 NFH) plus 2 optional aircraft.
This is the confirmation of the strong interest shown by Belgium towards the NH90 since the very early stages of the Programme, when Belgium was involved with the first design studies launch by NATO.
Belgium is now the 14th country ordering the NH90 and the 2nd country, after Portugal in 2001, to join the international programme organisation, NAHEMO, which was initially formed in order to gather the National Armament Directors of the 4 countries which have instigated the NH90 Programme; i.e. France, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands joined by Portugal in 2001.
The Belgian industry will benefit from to the procurement of NH90 helicopters through an extensive industrial cooperation programme.
With 4 NFH and 4 TTH, the NH90 helicopters will provide the Belgian Armed Forces with comprehensive Search and Rescue, Naval and Tactical Transport capabilities.
The NH90 is a new generation military helicopter equipped with modern technology and systems able to perform any kind of mission by day or night and in adverse weather conditions. The NH90 features a corrosion-free carbon fibre fuselage, fly-by-wire controls, composite rotors and many other leading edge technologies.
NHIndustries is also pleased to announce that the NH90 will be presented to the Belgian public (Static Display only – Live instrument panel) on the occasion of the next national aeronautical event “Helidays” in Bierset from 12th to 13th May 2007.
The twin-engine, medium-size NH90 helicopter is provided by the consortium NHIndustries, the Company owned by AgustaWestland (32%), Eurocopter (62.5%), and Stork Fokker (5.5%).
The NH90 helicopter programme is the largest ever launched in Europe, with firm orders now reaching 453 units plus 102 options to equip and modernize the Armed Forces of France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Greece, Oman, Australia, New-Zealand, Spain and Belgium. Final negotiation steps are in progress with several other Defence Forces to secure contracts concerning 76 additional NH90, both in the Tactical Transport and Naval versions.