NHI is proud to announce the first flight of the first NH90 NFH Nato Frigate Helicopter ordered by the Belgian armed forces.
For this first 45 minutes flight performed on april 5th at Eurocopter facility Donauwörth in Germany, the crew successfully tested the basic systems of this new generation aircraft. After landing, the pilot expressed its satisfaction with the flight qualities of this helicopter. During the next weeks, this first Belgian NH90 NFH will perform several other test flights in order to check the aircraft behaviour and its mission system with Industry and Customer crews. The Belgian armed forces ordered eight NH90s, four TTHs for tactical transport operations and four NFHs for naval operations.
The Belgian NH90 NFH is delivered in its full operational capability standard, already known as the “Step B”. This aircraft is very close to the Dutch NH90 NFH Step B currently operationally deployed with the Royal Netherland’s Navy. This commonality brings to the Belgian customer all the return of experience collected during the development of the Dutch NH90 NFH.
“This first flight is an important milestone for NHI because we know that the Belgian Air Component has an urgent need to replace its ageing “Sea King Helicopters” declared Xavier Poupardin delegated managing director of NHI.
The NH90 NFH is a helicopter of 11 ton class primarily configured to perform naval operations such as Search and Rescue at sea, anti -piracy missions and transport missions in all environments by day and night.
The NH90 NFH is the most modern helicopter of its class available on the market. It features a high level of system integration built around a dual bus Core Avionic System, full glass cockpit with Multifunction Displays, Fly-by-wire controls with 4-axis Automatic Flight Control System. The dedicated Mission System includes among others: an Electro Optic sensor, Tactical Control and Tactical Communication System, a multimode radar and an On-Board Monitoring and Diagnostic System. It features a fully composite crashworthy fuselage fitted. The two Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca RTM322 engines provide power reserve in all environments. The NH90 helicopter has provision for a number of role equipment to enable mission flexibility and effectiveness coupled with a high level of safety and survivability.
The twin-engine, medium-size NH90 helicopter program is managed 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 529 units for 19 Armed Forces of 14 Nations: France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Greece, Oman, Australia, New-Zealand, Spain and Belgium.