During the State visit by the Royal couple of the Netherlands, his Royal Highness King Willem-Alexander and her Royal Highness Queen Maxima on March 11th 2016, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (MEA) signed a Memorandum of Agreement with NHIndustries (NHI) for the participation of the Dutch Industry in the sustainment phase of the NH90 helicopter. Under this agreement the involvement of Airborne (NL) and NHI consortium partner Fokker Technologies a division of GKN Aerospace, in Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul activities for the NH90 helicopters of the Royal Netherlands Air Force is confirmed according to an agreed roadmap.
Fokker performed its first official standard part delivery for the NH90 helicopter in 2013, the transfer of the entire standard parts package has now officially been finalized. Airborne is authorized by Airbus Helicopters for ML1 and ML2 rotor blade repair activities for operators of the NH90 helicopter. The company will continue to work to get the ML3 maintenance qualification level to offer this capacity as a subcontractor of Airbus Helicopters to operators in The Netherlands, Belgium and potentially other countries.
During the event in Paris, the President of NHIndustries, Mr. Vincent Dubrule, commented on the cooperation: “NHI is actively partnering with international suppliers in order to improve the availability of platforms and reducing cost of maintenance for the operators of the NH90.”
Pieter Taal of the Dutch MEA added “We are happy to see that after a thorough preparation the cooperation between NHI and Dutch industries will now lead to a substantial role for these capable companies in maintaining the state-of-the art NH90 helicopter.”
The NH90 helicopter is the optimal choice for modern operations thanks to its large full composite airframe, its excellent power to weight ratio, and its wide range of rôle equipment. It features a redundant Fly-by-Wire flight control system for reduced Pilot’s workload and enhanced flight characteristics.
The NH90 is proposed in two main variants, one dedicated to naval operations, the NH90NFH (Nato Frigate Helicopter) and a Tactical Transport Variant for land based operations. As of today, 271 helicopters have been delivered in Naval and Tactical transport variants. They are in service in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greece, Oman, Belgium, Australia and New Zealand.
The twin-engine, medium-size NH90 helicopter program is managed by the consortium NHIndustries, the Company owned by Finmeccanica Helicopter Division (32%), Airbus Helicopters (62.5%), and Fokker (5.5%)
About Fokker Technologies
Fokker Technologies is a division of GKN Aerospace and a leading global aerospace specialist that develops and manufactures highly engineered advanced aircraft systems and components for aircraft manufacturers and provides integrated maintenance services and products for aircraft owners and operators. The company was founded in 1919. Headquartered in Papendrecht, the Netherlands, Fokker Technologies operates facilities in the Netherlands, Romania, Turkey, Canada, Mexico, USA, China, India and Singapore, and employs approximately 4,900 people. For the year ended 31 December 2014, reported revenue was €758 million.
Airborne is a company specialised in the design, manufacturing and maintenance of composite aero-structures. The group employs around 250 people and has facilities in The Netherlands and Spain. The business unit Airborne Services is active in maintenance and repair of composite structures, with a focus on rotor blades of military helicopters.