The Italian navy has taken delivery of its first NH90 Step B naval helicopter, which is the fully operational version of which it has ordered 46. Five earlier aircraft delivered in the interim Step A configuration will now be upgraded. (NHI photo)
Nov. 12, 2013 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: NH Industries; issued Nov. 8, 2013)
Delivery of the First NH90 Step B to Italian Navy
NHI is proud to announce that the first NH90 NFH Step B has been delivered today to the Italian Navy. This fully operational naval helicopter will be assigned to the 5th Helicopter Squadron of the Italian Navy at the Sarzana-Luni base. The Italian Navy has ordered 56 NH90s, 46 of which in the NFH variant.
“This NH90 Step B will allow its crews to fully take advantage of its tremendous mission system” explains Xavier Poupardin, Delegated Managing Director of NHIndustries. The Step B configuration features a range of significant advancements in mission capability including mission systems integration for both air-to-surface missiles such as the Marte MK/2S and torpedoes, advanced satellite and encrypted communications, radar and avionics capability enhancements. Next year the five previously delivered Italian Navy NH90NFH in Step A (MOC, Meaningful Operation Capability) standard, will begin to be retrofitted to bring them to the final configuration.
"The NH90 NFH is the most recent and versatile helicopter for naval warfare" it is designed according to precise NATO Staff Requirements. It is equipped with a state of the art weapon system combining on a modern platform several types of sensors with a complete weapon suite. The NH90 NFH is able to perform a wide range of missions such as Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare, SAR, Transport, Special Ops support, Boarding, Medical Evacuation, Maritime reconnaissance and Anti-Piracy In any type of environment. It can safely operate from a ship even in rough weather.
The NH90 is the optimal choice for tactical transport, naval 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.
As of today, more than 164 helicopters have been delivered and are in service in Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greece, Oman, Australia and New Zealand.
The twin-engine, medium-size NH90 helicopter program is managed by the consortium NHIndustries, the Company owned by AgustaWestland SpA (32%), Eurocopter (62.5%), and Fokker Aerostructures (5.5%).