NATO Launches $644M NH90 Helicopter Fleet Upgrade

NHIndustries (NHI) and the NATO Helicopter Management Agency have signed a contract to upgrade the NH90 helicopter.

The 600-million-euro ($644 million) deal was signed on behalf of Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy.

It includes upgrading both the NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter for army use and the NATO Frigate Helicopter for naval utility.

Block 1 Upgrades

The Block 1 upgrades, also known as Software Release 3, include the NH90 communication suite, integration of Data Link 22 for beyond line-of-sight interoperability without satellite communications, and the latest IFF Mod 5 Level 2.

Additionally, the “integration of a latest generation electro optical system, a new dipping sonar and the integration of the MK 54 torpedo and the Marte ER anti-ship missile,” NHI explained.

“The NH90 Block 1 will be able to navigate with a civil grade global navigation satellite system and flight management system.”

The second phase of Block 1 upgrades is being finalized and includes the deployment of the upgrades on around 200 NH90s.

Upgrades to Add Another Five Decades

The Block 1 upgrades intend to initially add up to 15 years to the platform’s life, with Block 2 defining its future evolution.

The helicopter was inducted in 2007.

“The Block 1 programme will cover the next ten to fifteen years. Beyond that horizon, we are also planning the Block 2 upgrade that will define the future evolutions of the platform and ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the battlefield of tomorrow,” NHI President and Head of NH90 Programme at Airbus Helicopters Axel Aloccio said.

“We have a clear plan to extend the life span of the NH90 up to 50 years and we will need to upgrade the aircraft to make sure it stays relevant on the battlefield of tomorrow.”

Back to top button