NH Industries has delivered a third NH90 tactical transport helicopter (TTH) to the French Army at Eurocopter's facility in Marignane, France.
The delivery follows an undisclosed contract awarded by the French defence procurement agency (DGA) in December 2008 for an initial batch of 34 NH90 TTH helicopters, with a further 34 optional, to help replace the army's ageing fleet of SA 330 Puma transport helicopters.
The new helicopter will join the initial two NH90s received in January and July 2012 at Le Cannet des Maures Army base in south-eastern France, and will be used by the French Army's aviation unit (ALAT) for intensive flight crew training.
Powered by two Rolls-Royce-Turbomeca RTM322 engines, the NH90 TTH is an advanced helicopter designed primarily to perform logistics and utility transport, combat search and rescue (RESCO), as well as heliborne operations.
The next-generation helicopter, also known as Caiman, can be used to perform casualty and medical evacuation, electronic warfare, special operations and counter-terrorism missions, airborne command post and VIP transportation.
NH Industries is a joint venture between AgustaWestland, Eurocopter and Stork Fokker; it is the prime contractor for the twin-engine multirole helicopter programme, and is also manufacturing a second variant, the Nato frigate helicopter (NFH), for naval forces.
In addition, the helicopters have been ordered by NH90 members, including Australia, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Oman, Sweden, Spain Finland and Italy.
A total of 27 NH90 NFH aircraft were ordered by the French Navy to replace its Lynx and Super Frelon helicopters to better perform anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions.
Image: The French Army and NHI officials during NH90 TTH helicopter handover ceremony in Marignane, France. Photo: courtesy of NH Industries.