NH Industries delivers the first
NH-90 helicopter NFH model

By Riccardo Niccoli



On April 21, 2010, at the AgustaWestland Vergiate plants, NH Industries delivered the first NFH model of its NH-90 helicopter to a customer, the Royal Netherlands Navy. This helicopter, code 110, is the first of 20 for the RNN, but the very first of the NFH naval variant, which underwent a longer development phase, due to the more complex avionics suite integrated into the helicopter.

          The first NH-90 NFH for the Royal Netherlands Navy
          taken before the ceremony of delivery. (Photo by Riccardo Niccoli)

Following this delivery, in May it will be the turn of the French Navy to get its first NFH, and in July it will come the turn of the Royal Norwegian Air Force. Finally, in December, the Italian Navy will get its first NFH model. These first machines (7 for the Netherlands, 7 for France, 6 for Norway and 4 for Italy) will be delivered at a MOC (Meaningful Operational Capability) standard, which is very close to an IOC standard, as for the TTH model. They lack the qualifications of the armament, tactical navigation, and part of the radar modes, plus the full shipborne capability. In 2011-2012 NH Industries will be able to deliver the FOC (Full Operational Capability) helicopters, and to retrofit the MOC, a process made simpler as it concerns just software upgrading and “Plug & play” modifications.

 The second NH-90 NFH for the Netherlands taken on the Vergiate ramp.
         (Photo by Riccardo Niccoli)
In December 2009 the NFH model received its military certification, and in 2009-2010 a significant portion of the ground and air training for the first military aircrews has been accomplished by the industry.
As NH Industry claims, this first delivery is very important, as witnesses the capability already reached by the NFH model. “Now we are also on the sea”, told us Mr. Domenico Vaccari, NHI responsible for the NFH model, a clear message for the NH-90 competitors. In the next 3-4 years, NH Industry will be very active on the potential NFH markets in India, Australia, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
          Three NFHs on display at Vergiate: from the left, Norway,
          The Netherlands and Italy samples.
                                                                        (Photo by Riccardo Niccoli)





         The third NFH for the Netherlands performed a short air display at the
         end of the ceremony.
                                                                        (Photo by Riccardo Niccoli)


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