Tuesday, July 23, 2024

French military to receive new NH90 Standard 2 helicopters

Airbus Helicopters has launched the flight test campaign for the prototype of the NH90 Standard 2, a new configuration developed specifically for the French Army Aviation to support special forces operations.

The French Ministry for Armed Forces has ordered 18 NH90s in this configuration, with flight testing scheduled to continue until the end of the year.

The NH90 Standard 2 includes the Safran Euroflir 410 electro-optical system, a new digital map generator, accommodation for a third crew member, and new enlarged rear sliding windows capable of housing self-protection guns. The tests aim to validate the design of these features.

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The prototype is also equipped with provisions for the Distributed Aperture System (DAS) and a new generation Helmet Mounted Sight Digital Display (HMSD-DD), enhancing the helicopter’s capability to operate in demanding conditions.

These flight tests are part of a program initiated in 2020 by the NATO Helicopter Management Agency (NAHEMA) and NHIndustries (NHI), in collaboration with Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo, and Fokker. The program aims to develop and upgrade 10 NH90 TTHs to the Standard 2 configuration.

In December 2023, NAHEMA awarded a contract to NHIndustries for the production of eight additional NH90 TTHs in the Standard 2 configuration, reinforcing their commitment to the NH90 program. By the end of the decade, the French Army Aviation will operate 81 NH90 TTHs, with the NH90 fleet having already reached 50,000 flight hours since its first deployment in 2014.

NHIndustries, the largest rotorcraft joint venture, is responsible for the NH90’s design, manufacturing, and support. The consortium comprises Airbus Helicopters (62.5%), Leonardo (32%), and GKN Fokker (5.5%).

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Executive Editor

About author:

Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov
Dylan Malyasov is the editor-in-chief of Defence Blog. He is a journalist, an accredited defense advisor, and a consultant. His background as a defense advisor and consultant adds a unique perspective to his journalistic endeavors, ensuring that his reporting is well-informed and authoritative. read more

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