Airbus Helicopters has received a support contract to provide maintenance services for the German Armed Forces’ (Bundeswehr) NH90 multi-role military helicopter fleet.

The ten-year contract was awarded by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw).

Airbus Helicopters will serve as the prime contractor for the programme. Elbe Flugzeugwerke, a subsidiary of Airbus and ST Aerospace, is the subcontractor.

To deliver the contract, Airbus will work in coordination with Elbe Flugzeugwerke.

Airbus Helicopters Light Helicopters and Governmental Programs executive vice-president Wolfgang Schoder said: “Together, Airbus Helicopters and Elbe Flugzeugwerke are excellently poised to handle the growing influx of NH90 helicopters.

“Elbe Flugzeugwerke is an experienced and internationally renowned maintenance and conversion specialist that we will be incorporating into the NH90 programme for the long-term.”

The service package to be offered by the contractors will include scheduled maintenance, 1,200 flight-hour inspections and repair work.

Airbus is expected to begin work under this contract at its site in Donauwörth in the first quarter of next year. Work will also take place at Elbe Flugzeugwerke’s facility in Dresden in 2021.

The Dresden facility will help increase Bundeswehr’s capacity to maintain its helicopters, Airbus stated.

The contract will cover the maintenance of the German Army’s tactical transport helicopters (TTH) and the German Navy’s NH90 naval transport helicopters (NTH).

NHIndustries delivered 74 of the 82 contracted NH90 TTH helicopters to the German Army. The company will deliver the remaining helicopters by 2021.

Deliveries of the 18 helicopters to the German Navy will begin in October. The NH90 Sea Lion will replace the navy’s Westland Sea Lynx 88A anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter fleet.

Elbe Flugzeugwerke president and CEO Andreas Sperl said: “Based on our many years of experience in aircraft maintenance, and with the support of Airbus Helicopters, we will be a reliable partner when it comes to maintaining the Bundeswehr’s NH90 helicopters.”

Airbus added that the service package will reduce aircraft turnaround times.