The first Australian NH90 – Tactical Transport Helicopter version (TTH) wearing the Customer designation TAUA01 took off from Marignane (France), the Eurocopter’s facility.
This flight lasted 1 hour and 35 minutes away from the airfield and fulfilled all expectations.
Australian partners working locally for many months at Eurocopter’s Marignane, within Integrated Teams were proud to attend this major event on behalf of their country, measuring deeply by themselves the nature and complexity of the technological and human processes commonly achieved since the very beginning of their presence in France.
The MRH90 (Dedicated designation for Australian NH90) is an extremely capable helicopter as any other NH90 variant. It features a damage tolerant design, a large cabin volume with two wide sliding cargo doors and a rear ramp, altogether providing operational users with enhanced sea operation capabilities strongly reinforced thanks to a full-composite, hence corrosion-free, airframe. Part of a comprehensive modernization and rationalization of the Australian military helicopter fleet, the 46 already contracted MRH90 will provide Australia Defence Force with true opportunities for joint fleet management.
Incidentally, the same day, in Halli (Finland) has flown the 3rd NH90 High Cabin Version of the Swedish Customer. With 1st and 2nd Swedish NH90 built in Marignane, BSWA03 is the 1st of the 16 remaining ordered NH90 to be assembled and flown in this Patria facility.
It is noticeable that both flights duration of 1 hour and a half demonstrate the highest reliability standards of the NH90 helicopter family and Industry capacity to achieve a sustained and regular ramping up pace.
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 445 units plus 100 options to equip and modernize the Armed Forces of France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Greece, Oman, Australia, New-Zealand and Spain. Final negotiation steps are yet under process with several other Defence Forces to secure contracts concerning 86 additional NH90, both in the Tactical Transport and Naval versions.