French DGA Takes Delivery of 2 Eurocopter NH90s
The French DGA armament procurement agency has taken delivery of its second NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) and seventh NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH), marking an important step forward in the largest European helicopter program launched to date.
The ceremony celebrating this dual delivery was held Friday at the Marignane, France headquarters of Eurocopter, and was attended by members of the DGA; Dominique Maudet, the Eurocopter Group’s Executive Officer for France, and Vice President of Global Business and Services; along with a number of representatives from the French Armed Forces.
The NH90 TTH delivered to the DGA will be handed over to the French Army Air Corps for use in training the first aircrews at the French Armed Forces Training Center (CFIA), located at Le Cannet des Maures. It is the 100th NH90 TTH delivered to date.
The French Navy NH90 NFH helicopters - designated the Caïman - represent an important element in the combat system for the service’s anti-aircraft defense frigates and multi-mission frigates. This seventh-delivered NH90 NFH will become part of the initial ship-based group based on the Aquitaine multi-mission frigate by 2013.
“This delivery of two versions of the NH90 on the same day is a major step in the historical relationship between Eurocopter and our customer, the French state,” said Maudet. “We are especially proud to play a part in the important missions that the French armed forces will carry out in the interest of the French nation with these technologically-advanced aircraft.”
The NH90 TTH helicopters will progressively replace the Pumas in service with the French Army Air Corps. The next generation NH90 TTH has been designed to perform a wide range of missions – even the most demanding, such as utility transport and logistics, combat search & rescue, medical evacuations, Special Forces operations and anti-terrorism.
In its final operational configuration, the NH90 is equipped with field-tested avionics that enable the helicopter to carry out missions both day and night regardless of the weather conditions. It also has high-performance self-protection equipment, a military communication system that is interoperable for international operations, and equipment for ship-based deployment.
The NH90 NFH helicopters are ship-based combat rotorcraft, and will be assigned anti-ship and anti-submarine missions in their operation from French Navy frigates, as well as search & rescue and anti-terrorism duties at sea.
The aircraft boast a state-of-the-art weapons system that combines, as part of a high-performance platform, a package of ultra-modern electronic, acoustic and optronic sensors as well as weapons loads adapted to anti-ship and anti-submarine missions. The NH90 NFH also performs amphibious, maritime surveillance and anti-piracy missions.
The six NH90 final assembly lines currently operational in France, Germany, Italy, Finland, Australia and Spain are under the supervision of NHIndustries, a consortium jointly owned by Eurocopter, AgustaWestland and Fokker Aerostructures, which respectively hold 62.5%, 32% and 5.5% stakes.