The ceremony celebrating this dual delivery was held at Marignane, the manufacturer’s headquarters, and was attended by the DGA, Dominique Maudet, Eurocopter Group’s Executive Officer for France & Vice President of Global Business and Services, and a number of representatives from France’s armed forces.
The NH90 TTH delivered to the DGA today 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) at Le Cannet des Maures. The aircraft is the 100th NH90 TTH to be delivered.
The NH90 NFH will enter into service at the Hyères naval air base, where preparations will be made for the deployment of its operational capabilities on frigates.
“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 SAR, 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 is 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.
Designed to replace the Lynx and Super Frelon fleets, the NH90 NFH helicopters ordered by France will carry out maritime SAR, anti-terrorism and anti-submarine missions from the naval air bases at Hyères and Lanvéoc-Poulmic.
The NH90 NFH boasts 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 helicopter also performs SAR, 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 percent, 32 percent and 5.5 percent stakes.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace and defense-related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 20,000 people. In 2011, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s number one helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 5.4 billion Euros, orders for 457 new helicopters and a 43 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s helicopters account for 33 percent of the worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter’s strong international presence is ensured by its subsidiaries and participations in 21 countries. Eurocopter’s worldwide network of service centers, training facilities, distributors and certified agents supports some 2,900 customers. There are currently more than 11,300 Eurocopter helicopters in service in 149 countries. Eurocopter offers the most comprehensive civil and military helicopter range in the world and is fully committed to safety as the most important aspect of its business.