Today, Hon Phil Goff, Minister of Defence of New-Zealand, and Mrs Gala Gonçalvès, General Manager of NHIndustries, signed the contract to supply 9 NH90 medium-lift helicopters to provide 8 operational helicopters to the Royal New-Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).
The signing ceremony between New-Zealand and NHIndustries took place in Wellington after a two-week final negotiation round-up.
The medium-size twin-engineNH90 ordered by New-Zealand is the Tactical Transport Version (TTH) of this benchmark helicopter. The NH90 fleet and the Initial Support will be provided by the consortium NHIndustries, the European industrial joint venture between AgustaWestland (32%), Eurocopter (62,5%), and Stork Fokker (5,5%). The TTH Variant for New Zealand is basically equipped, as any other NH90, with full glass cockpit, advanced Fly-by-Wire Flight Control System providing Hands-Off flight capability together with state-of-the-art Communication, Navigation and Mission Equipment. The NH90 is an extremely capable helicopter featuring a modern damage tolerant design, a large cabin volume with 2 wide sliding cabin doors and a rear ramp. The NH90’s full-composite airframe, is corrosion free in any environment and maximize survivability and life cycle. The NH90 can carry up from 16 to 20 equipped troops and highest versatility makes it the best choice for any type of tactical transport and utility mission.
Following its commitment to the building of a modern, sustainable, well-equipped Defence Force, the Government of New-Zealand confirms today the last year NH90 selection. New-Zealand considers the NH90 fleet, operated by RNZAF, as a national asset to perform the assigned military tasks, including Peace Keeping operations but also to provide valuable support to the operations in conjunction with the other national agencies for Disaster Relief, Search&Rescue, Emergency Medical Service, Police operations, Fisheries Surveillance, Counter Terrorism, Pollution Control and Customs operations. The new NH90 helicopters ordered today will replace in due time the ageing Iroquois fleet.
The NH90 is the biggest helicopter programme ever launched by Europe, with firm orders now reaching 400 units to equip and modernize the Armed Forces of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Greece, Oman, Australia and New-Zealand while several other Defence Forces keep focusing, at different stages, on the NH90 both in the Transport and Naval versions.