Aix-en-Provence, 10 August 2007.
NHIndustries on behalf of AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica Company, announces that the first serial production NH90 for the Royal Netherlands Navy performed the maiden flight on Friday 10th August at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate facility in Italy.
The helicopter (NNLN001) took off at 14.45 h and the flight duration was of about 20 minutes. In flight preliminary checks fulfilled all expectations.
Operational Representatives of the Dutch Customer joined the event.
In the frame of the NH90 Programme work-share, AgustaWestland is responsible of the overall integration of the NH90 naval mission system for all NH90 naval variants (NFH: NATO Frigate Helicopter).
The NH90 NFH variant is primarily designed for autonomous Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW) missions. The intrinsic characteristics and comprehensive mission equipment packages allow an unequalled range of additional operations: Search and Rescue (SAR), maritime patrol, vertical replenishment, troop transport, medical services and “Utility” roles. The helicopter is designed for day & night/adverse weather/severe ship motion environment operations. Due to its weight and dimensions, the deck-lock system, the deck traversing system and the automatic blade and tail folding system, it can operate from/to small Frigates.
The NH90 modern platform and system technology will provide real operational advantages for the next 30 years with significant growth potential capabilities.
The Royal Netherlands Navy has ordered a total of 20 NH90-NFH. Final Assembly of the Dutch helicopters is underway at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate facility which is responsible also for the assembly of the NFH variant for Italian and Norwegian Navies as well as for the assembly of the TTH variant for Italian Army.
The NH90 firm orders today have reached 495 units plus 60 contractual options and more than 98 “selections” (for which the definition of the detailed specification are on-going with the Customers) The NH90 is going 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 yet under process with several other Defences for additional NH90, both in the Tactical Transport and Naval versions.
NHIndustries consider this event an important achievement both for the Royal Netherlands Navy helicopters and for the overall NH90 naval Programme.