13 May 1996

Few months after the maiden flight of 18 December 95, the NH90 is making a new step forward with the participation for the first time to the flying display at ILA Airshow in Berlin.

The first prototype of NH90 helicopter (PT1) arrived to Schönefeld airport on 13 May transported by a Beluga aircraft and after a very short pre-flight inspection is ready now to fly in the presence of the officials, press and public visiting the Airshow.

NHIndustries, the prime contractor for the quadrinational NH90 helicopter Programme (launched by France, Italy, Germany and The Netherlands) is pleased to say that a big expectation for this event has been noticed in Germany.

Germany is a Participating Nation which is strongly supporting the NH90 Programme in the view of pursuing common defence means, common strategies and to reinforce the European aeronautical cooperation with the aim of sharing costs, workload and technology to produce a competitive helicopter.

Development activities are carried out by the four European industrial partners, Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH, Eurocopter France S.A., Agusta S.p.A (Italy), and Fokker (The Netherlands) according to the design responsibility defined in the contract signed by NHIndustries and NAHEMA, the NATO Agency representing the Four Participating Nations.

During the NH90 Development phase, a total of 5 prototypes, plus the Ground Test Vehicle (Iron Bird) will be employed to demonstrate design compliance and to validate overall system performance. Qualification is further supported by a number of laboratory and ground tests, simulators and integration facilities.

Needs for replacement of existing fleets, for tactical transport and naval missions, are playing a major role in the NH90 both in the Four Participating Nations and in the Export market. This is leading to an impressive scale helicopter market and has enabled NHIndustries to apply the most suitable policies to be highly competitive worldwide.

As far as the German Armed Forces is concerned, the NH90 will replace at the beginning of the century the ageing fleet of UH-1D Huey, Lynx and Sea King.