Spain awards €111m contract to upgrade NH90 helicopters

22 December 2020 (Last Updated December 22nd, 2020 11:50)

The Spanish Ministry of Defence has awarded a €111m contract to Indra for upgrading 23 NH90 helicopters with advanced electronic defence systems.

Spain awards €111m contract to upgrade NH90 helicopters
Indra will upgrade 23 NH90 helicopters with advanced electronic defence systems. Credit: Indra.

The Spanish Ministry of Defence has awarded a €111m contract to Indra for upgrading 23 NH90 helicopters with advanced electronic defence systems.

The contract works will help the helicopter crew in detecting advanced threats thereby improving safety in the area of operations.

As agreed, Indra will equip the GSPA and MSPT versions of this helicopter with a complete self-protection suite.

The deliveries will include the Enhanced Suite Controller (EW Manager), a Next-Generation Full Digital Radar Warning Receiver (RWR ALR-400FD) and a DIRCM InShield Directed Infrared Countermeasure system.

The DIRCM system is designed to protect the aircraft from ground-based missile systems by blinding their thermal guidance system with a beam of automatic laser energy.

In a statement, Indra said: “The InShield system was tested in 2017 in the NATO EMBOW exercises aboard a Chinook (CH-47). It is currently the only DIRCM system on the market that has proven its capabilities in Alliance testing.

“The system is being integrated for its operation in the Spanish Air Force’s fleet of A400M aircraft.”

Indra will also deliver and integrate other elements of the electronic defence suite such as missile alert sensors (MWS), laser alert (LWS) and the chaff and flare dispenser system (CMDS) to escape enemy attacks.

The GSPA and MSPT variants of NH90 helicopters by the Spanish Army, Air Force and Navy.

The contract will have a term of seven years and also includes scope extensions, which, if exercised, will increase the value to €135m.

Indra had already equipped the first shipment of NH90 class of helicopters with self-protection systems, the Tactical Mission System (AMPS) and the Friend-or-Foe Identification System (IFF).

Furthermore, the company recently delivered the second NH90 helicopter Full Mission Simulator (FMS) to the Spanish Army.