Before entering 2006, NHIndustries would like to review the main events of the NH90 Programme in 2005.
Another 6 serial production NH90 TTH took to the air this year:
- The 1st serial NH90 for Sweden flew in March. The Swedish version features a High Cabin Version (HCV) 24 cm higher compared to the standard one.
- Then the 1st Hellenic Army and 2nd Finnish Defence Forces production NH90 performed their maiden flights mid-July. Worth to be mentioned, this 2nd Finnish NH90 left the ground from the Patria facility in Halli, Finland, were it has been assembled.
- A second double-shot has been achieved mid-October, with the first flights of 2nd Italian Army and 2nd Swedish Armed Forces HCV.
- Mid-December saw the first flight of the 2nd German Army NH90.
This succession ended with the take-off of 1st naval production NH90. This event establishes a further NH90 cornerstone by making available the naval version (NFH) which was part of the initial NATO originating the NH90 Programme. This first NFH will be assigned to the Italian Navy.
Concerning the fields of operational implementation and qualification process, 2005 saw 3 major steps for the NH90 programme. From 17 to 30 September, NH90 PT4 flew an operational evaluation with Gamstat, Airmobile group of the French Army engineering branch. Mains goals achieved were operational environment implementation of the mission and night vision systems plus crew work sharing assessment. Almost in the meantime, from 13 September to 5 October, the full Fly-By-Wire (FBW) NH90 PT3 successfully performed high altitude performance tests in Ecuador as part of the NH90 qualification file. Finally the PT5, representative of the naval variants, performed surface systems preview with customers in November.
On the commercial side, the Australian Ministry of Defence signed a contract for 12 NH90 and NHIndustries welcomed announcements from New-Zealand (8 to 10 H/C), Spain (45 H/C) and Belgium (10 H/C) for different missions formalizing the selection of the NH90 for their Armed Forces.
Backing the commercial activity, NH90 Prototype n°1 fitted with a 4-screen live instrument panel attended Australian Air Show in Avalon and MSPO, the National defence exhibition in Poland. On the occasion of the Paris Air Show, NHIndustries introduced for the first time a serial production NH90 (1st Swedish HCV) on the Static Display and a full FBW (NH90 PT3) to the daily Flight Display.
By the end of 2005, NH90 prototypes flight test and system’s qualification activity logged 3,000 flight hours to be augmented by 600 additional hours flown by the existing fleet of serial NH90.
An impressive backlog establishes definitely the NH90 as the third millennium state-of-the-art medium size multipurpose military helicopter with 357 firm orders, 120+ options and 73+ selections.