France / Germany / Italy / Netherlands

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NH Industries NH 90

Transport and ASW helicopter

NH 90 helicopter

There are two initial versions of the NH 90 helicopter - the NFH frigate helicopter and TTH transport

Entered service 2000
Crew 2 - 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Length 19.56 m
Main rotor diameter 16.3 m
Height 5.44 m
Weight (empty) 5.4 - 6.4 t
Weight (maximum take off) 10 t
Engines and performance
Engines 2 x RTM 322-01/9 turboshaft engines
Engine power 2 x 2 100 hp
Maximum cruising speed 298 km/h
Ferry 1 204 km
Maximum payload ?
Typical load 20 troops or one 2 t vehicle
Armament (NFH)
Missiles Marte Mk2/S anti-ship missiles
Torpedoes homing torpedoes


   In 1985 five European nations signed a memorandum of understanding covering a NATO helicopter for the 90s, or NH 90. The UK dropped out of the programme in 1987 in favor to the EH 101, leaving France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands in the project by means of NH Industries. This was established in France in 1992 to control a collaborative programme involving Eurocopter France (with NFT [Norway] as a risk-sharing partner from 1994), Agusta, Eurocopter Deutschland and Fokker. Stated requirements were 220 helicopters for France, 214 for Italy, 272 for Germany and 20 for the Netherlands, and it was anticipated that a first flight in 1995 would pave the way for deliveries from 1999.

   The two initial versions are the NH 90 NFH (NATO Frigate Helicopter) for the autonomous anti-submarine warfare and anti-ship roles, and the NH 90 TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter) for assault transport, rescue, electronic warfare and VIP transport duties.

   The NFH variants is being developed under Agusta leadership and its advanced mission suite includes a 360 search radar, dipping sonar, forward-looking infra-red, magnetic anomaly detector, and electronic surveillance measures and electronic counter measures systems.

   The TTH variant is being developed under Eurocopter Deutschland leadership, with a cabin for 20 troops or one 2 000-kg vehicle. It can carry area-suppression and self-defense weapons. A forward-looking infra-red is standard on the TTH to provide a night and adverse-weather nap of the earth flight capability, and both models are controlled via a quadruplex fly-by-wire control system.

   Two engine types are available to increase the NH 90's export potential. The first of five flying and one ground-test prototypes was the French-assembler PT 1 that first flew on 18 December 1995 with RTM 322 engines. The partner nations have now identified home requirements for 642 NH 90s, with 244 helicopters being delivered since March 2000.


NH 90 helicopter

NH 90 helicopter

NH 90 helicopter

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