Another major achievement in the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s NH90 program was made on 31 March with the delivery of the first two NFH naval variant helicopters. The aircraft handover, achieved in accordance with contractual commitments, was performed during an official ceremony held at Leonardo’s Venice Tessera NH90 final assembly line (Italy) in the presence of Qatar Emiri Air Force, Leonardo and NHI representatives.
This event follows the delivery of the first TTH aircraft for land operations from Airbus Helicopters’ facility in Marignane (France) in December 2021, while the second TTH was handed over recently. The first NFH naval helicopter had its public premiere in Qatar on 18 December 2021 during the National Day.
Qatar’s NH90 program includes 16 NH90 TTHs for land operations, 12 NH90 NFHs for naval missions, a comprehensive support, maintenance & training services package and associated infrastructure. The Qatar Emiri Air Force is one of the few NH90 End Users to operate both the TTH and NFH versions of the NH90 for a number of land operations and naval missions. The program has the potential to be extended in the future with the addition of 6 + 6 units in a mixture of TTH and NFH variants.
Leonardo is prime contractor for the overall program and is also responsible for the final assembly and delivery of the 12 NH90 NFH helicopters from its Venice Tessera facility. The company is also supplying simulators, training aids and an extensive maintenance support and training services package for aircrews and maintenance technicians. Leonardo is providing, contributing to or supporting the integration of various avionics and sensor payloads, including the Leonardo LEOSS-T HD electro-optical system, HD Mission Video Recorder, Automatic Identification System, Tactical video link and Full HD display for cabin consoles. Airbus Helicopters is responsible for carrying out the final assembly of the 16 NH90 TTH aircraft. Deliveries will continue through to 2025.
Leonardo is responsible for, or contributes to, the design, production and integration of a wide range of critical NH90 components and systems. These include the rear fuselage, main gear box hydraulic system, upper modes of the Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS), plant management system, power plant integration, NFH mission system (integrating sonar, radar, electro-optics, tactical link, electronic warfare system, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) interrogator, mission video recording and weapon systems management including air-to-surface missiles and torpedoes for Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) and Anti-Submarine (ASW) missions. Leonardo also integrates additional capabilities such as the Laser Obstacle Avoidance Monitoring (LOAM) system and the LEOSS-T electro-optical system (also selected by the German Navy for their new NH90 Multi Role Frigate Helicopter Program), as well as pintle-mounted Gatling-type guns, for specific customers.
The largest military helicopter program in Europe, the NH90 is the optimal choice for modern operations thanks to its fully composite airframe with a large cabin, its excellent power-to-weight ratio and its wide range of role equipment. It features a quadruplex fly-by-wire flight control system for reduced pilot workload and enhanced flight handling characteristics. The NH90 is available in two main variants: one specified for naval operations, the NH90 NFH (NATO Frigate Helicopter) and the TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter) for land based operations. As of today, nearly 470 NH90 helicopters, a mixture of both variants, are in service worldwide. Aircraft on operations have logged nearly 330,000 flight hours in a wide range of weather and environmental conditions, over land and sea.
Leonardo, a global high-technology company, is among the top world players in Aerospace, Defense and Security and Italy’s main industrial company. Organized into five business divisions, Leonardo has a significant industrial presence in Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland and the USA, where it also operates through subsidiaries that include Leonardo DRS (defense electronics), and joint ventures and partnerships: ATR, MBDA, Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space and Avio.
Leonardo competes in the most important international markets by leveraging its areas of technological and product leadership (Helicopters, Aircraft, Aerostructures, Electronics, Cyber Security and Space). In 2020 Leonardo recorded consolidated revenues of €13.4 billion and invested €1.6 billion in Research and Development.