NHIndustries is proud to announce that the first serial production NH90 assembled outside the NHIndustries community took to the air today at the Patria facility of Halli, Jämsä - Finland.
The flight started at 9:30 and lasted 65 minutes. The NH90 was flown by:
- Didier GUERIN experimental test pilot,
- Nicolas CERTAIN flight test engineer,
- François ROSTAING flight engineer.
The serial production NH90 are mainly born from one of the 3 assembly lines of the NHIndustries Partner Companies community: Cascina Costa in Italy for AgustaWestland, Marignane in France and Donauwörth in Germany for Eurocopter.
KH-202 is the first Finnish NH90 helicopter assembled by Patria, the Finnish Aerospace and Defence Group. Patria, through a subcontract with Eurocopter, in the frame of the main contract offset obligation, is operating the 4th NH90 assembly. The contract calls for a series production of a minimum of 50 helicopters whose main modules are supplied to Patria from NHIndustries Partner Companies.
Locally, the employment effect is approximately 650 man-years. Patria is currently assembling 5 helicopters and deliveries of these 50 NH90 will be completed by 2011.
The first flight of KH-202 occurs after a splicing phase completed in October 2003, the equipment installation during 2004 and system tests started in January 2005.
On 19 October 2001, Finland ordered to NHIndustries 20 NH90 in the Tactical Troop Transport configuration, after a severe competition through the Nordic Standard Helicopter Programme (NSHP). After the usual customer-dedicated equipment integration, KH-202, the Finnish NH90 flying at Marignane from 15 September 2004 and the 18 Finnish NH90 to come will be operated by the Army Aviation of Finland in the Tactical Transport and SAR roles.
With its outstanding original features (full Fly-By-Wire flight control system, full composite crashworthy airframe, full aircraft/avionics/mission system integration…) associated to Rolls-Royce RRTM322-01/9 engines, Finnish NH90 will bring the most reliable heliborne support to Finnish Defence Forces whatever the military operational scenario proposed.
Today, full-scale production is rapidly proceeding with more than 80 NH90 on assembly line in France, Germany, Italy and Finland awaited by the end of this year. The current NH90 logbook shows a total of 357 firm orders, 86 options and 45+ selected NH90, by 13 countries and for 17 Armed Forces.
NHIndustries is responsible for the NH90 programme management, marketing, sales, and after sales support. Production shares of the 3 Partner Companies involved are 32.00% for AgustaWestland – Italy, 62.50% for Eurocopter – France and Germany, and 5.50% for Fokker Aerospace - The Netherlands.