Qatar’s new NH90 NFH Helicopter made its first flight.
The first of 12 NH90 NFH naval helicopters and the first of 16 NH90 TTH over-land variant took to the air from Leonardo’s Venice Tessera facility and Airbus Helicopters’ Marignane site respectively.
Leonardo announced, “The Qatar Emiri Air Force’s NH90 helicopter programme marked a major milestone last week with first flights performed in Italy and France. The first NH90 NATO frigate helicopter (NFH), assembled at Leonardo’s Venice Tessera facility, and the first tactical troop transport (TTH) over-land aircraft, assembled at Airbus Helicopters’ Marignane site, took to the air on 15th and 18th of December respectively. The flights allowed crews to evaluate general handling and basic systems and the helicopters performed as expected.”
Qatar’s NH90 Program includes 16 NH90 TTH helicopters for land operations and 12 NH90 NFH helicopters for naval missions. The program also includes comprehensive technical support, maintenance training services, and related infrastructure as well as future expansion packs, 6 + 6 units to TTH and NFH variants. Acceptance of the first batch of NH90s by the Qatar Emiri Air Force is scheduled to start before the end of 2021, with the last helicopter planned to be delivered in 2025.
Being the prime contractor of the general program, Leonardo is responsible for the final assembly and delivery of the NH90 NFH helicopters at the Venice Tessera Facility. Leonardo also provides a comprehensive maintenance and training service for aircraft crew and maintenance technicians. In addition, Leonardo provides the integration of various avionics and sensor systems, including the Leonardo LEOSS-T HD electro-optic system, HD Mission Video Recorder, Automatic Identification System, tactical video link and Full HD display for cabin consoles. Airbus Helicopters is responsible for the final assembly of 16 ordered NH90 TTH helicopters.
Gian Piero Cutillo, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters, said, “We’re extremely pleased to celebrate this important achievement as we continue to work to deliver this programme. The NH90 is set to provide the Qatar Ministry of Defence, an important and longstanding customer, with outstanding operational capabilities suitable for a range of missions. Together with our industrial partners, we’re committed to completing and introducing this essential defence and security enabler for our customer.”