5 April 2005

The New Zealand Minister of Defence, Hon. Mark Burton, announced the selection of NHIndustries’ NH90 helicopter as a replacement helicopter for the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

The NH90 fleet will replace the current Royal New Zealand Air Force’s ageing Iroquois.

Further negotiations with NHIndustries will establish the number of helicopters to be pur-chased, cost and delivery date.

“This Government is committed to building a modern, sustainable, well-equipped Defence Force”, said Hon. Mark Burton. “These helicopters will ensure interoperability with our secu-rity partners, allow New Zealand to participate in a range of operations, and to provide valu-able support to land force elements and other agencies.” added the Minister of Defence.

The twin-engine NH90 is the world’s most advanced multi-role helicopter which integrates fly-by-wire technology, along with the latest composite materials to minimize corrosion and maximize survivability and life cycle. The NH90 can carry up from 16 to 20 equipped troops and its versatility makes the NH90 suitable for all types of land and naval missions, such as troop transport, amphibious operations, search and rescue and counter-terrorism.

After the Oman Sultanate’s acquisition of 20 NH90 in July 2004 and the Australian Depart-ment of Defence selection of 12 NH90 (MRH90) in August 2004, New Zealand becomes the 12th country to have chosen the NH90, which is the reference in the medium-size twin class.