Saturday, March 16, 2013

Germany buys fewer NH90 and Tiger but more NH90 NFH helicopters

After more than a year of negotiations, Germany and Eurocopter have agreed on how to restructure the previous contract with the following:
  • reduce the number of Tiger attack helicopters from 80 to 57
  • reduce the number of NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) from 122 to 82
  • buy 18 NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH) / NFH90
Eurocopter will buy back 18 Tiger attack helicopters that have already been delivered. Once finalized, the amended contract will allow Germany to reduce costs.

The medium-sized NH90 NFH helicopter is the naval variant of the NH90 with:
  • a length of 19.56 m
  • a width of 16.30 m
  • a height of 5.31 m
  • an empty weight of 6400 kg
  • a maximum takeoff weight of 10600 kg
  • a maximum speed of 300 km/hr
  • a maximum range of 982 km
  • a maximum endurance of 5 hrs
The helicopter is powered by 2 Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322-01/9 turboshafts with 1662 kW (2230 shp) each. Alternative engines from General Electric are available.

The NH90 NFH is usually stationed on surface ships and can perform a wide range of roles, including:
  • Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
  • Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW)
  • Search and Rescue (SAR)
  • Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP)
  • Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC)
  • Maritime surveillance and control 
  • Logistic transport and utility support
  • Special Operations such as counter terrorism and anti-piracy
To complete its missions, the NH90 NFH can be fitted with a range of equipment, including:
  • Tactical 360 degree radar that is capable of multiple track while scan, auto initialisation and Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) 
  • Dipping sonar that is capable of Low Frequency Continuous Wave and Frequency Modulation
  • Tactical Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) interfaced with the radar and navigation system 
  • Electronic Warfare System including ESM and Counter Measures System
  • Sonobuoys storage, launch and processing system
  • Digital Map Generator system
  • IFF Interrogator
  • Data Link 11
The helicopters can be armed with a mix of 2 anti-ship missiles such as the Marte Mk2/S or 2 torpedoes such as the MU90, Mk46 or Stingray.

The NH90 NFH compact and efficient design allows it to perform several roles during the same flight. It can also quickly be reconfigured to a changing role should there be a need to.

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