The Governments of France, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands gave their go-ahead for the production launch of the NH90 helicopter programme on June 8, 2000, during the ILA airshow in Berlin. This latest-technology helicopter has been jointly developed by Agusta SpA, a Finmeccanica Company (Italy), Eurocopter (France and Germany) and Stork Fokker (The Netherlands) under the leadership of NHIndustries and the four-nation governmental agency NAHEMA (NATO HElicopter Management Agency).
A MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) covering a global intention of acquiring 595 helicopters and a global commitment for the industrialisation and production of 366 NH90 helicopters was signed by four nation's Officials. This MoU will be followed by the signature of a contract for the Production Investment and the Production (PI/P) of a first batch of helicopters.
Italy orders 116 helicopters (60 TTH and 46 NFH); France will receive 27 NFH; germany receives 80 TTH; the Netherlands will receive 20 NFH. The first batch in both the TTH and the NFH versions, encompasses a total of 298 helicopters, including 54 TTH as option for Germany and 1 TTH for Italian Air Force. Deliveries will start on 2003 for the TTH version.
Agusta has been assigned the responsibility for development of the main transmission and tail drive shaft and for the integration of the systems on the NFH variant which has the most complex on-board equipment, a tangible recognition of the level of ability reached by Agusta in this fundamental sector of the helicopter industry. Italian and Dutch NH90 will be assembled at Agusta's Vergiate plant in Italy.
The NH90 with its multi-mission capability and now on order by four European nations represents a major step forwards in terms of rationalisation, standardisation of equipment within the armed forces, and interoperability in NATO and United Nations missions.
Four European Nations Give Production Go-Ahead For The NH90 Programme