Showing posts with label NH90. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NH90. Show all posts

Monday, 13 June 2022

NHIndustries and NAHEMA sign innovative NH90 support contract

NHIndustries and NAHEMA sign innovative NH90 support contract

Photo  Patrick Heinz
NHIndustries has signed an innovative NH90 support contract with the NATO agency NAHEMA, acting as the contracting authority on behalf of the Direction générale de l'armement (the French Armament General Directorate) and the Direction de la maintenance aéronautique (the French Aeronautics Support Directory) for the French Ministry of the Armed Forces and the BAAINBww for the German Ministry of Defence. This contract will improve the availability rates of the NH90 naval (NFH) and tactical (TTH) helicopters.

The NH90 Operational Support (NOS) contract, which will be performance-based, will see both nations delegating a major part of their logistics and maintenance activity to NHIndustries, enabling them to focus on their operations. The agreement was also designed in a way that allows additional nations to join at any time.

"NHIndustries is fully committed to ensuring customer satisfaction, and the contents of this agreement have been carefully crafted in order to provide the French and German armed forces with the right set of services for improving NH90 operability, affordability and serviceability.  This new support contract will also strengthen our current relationship with our partner NAHEMA,” says Nathalie Tarnaud-Laude, President of NHIndustries. “The contract includes support of the customers’ continuing airworthiness management organisations, which ensures the continued airworthiness of aircraft and their parts, and establishes an improved approach for supply chain management for spare parts and component MRO.”

“This agreement, made up of a harmonized set of services that cover the operational needs of several helicopter variants, marks a new phase of the dynamic engagement between NHIndustries and NAHEMA”, says Admiral Giorgio Gomma, General Manager of NAHEMA. “We are confident that this new approach will improve the effectiveness of NH90 fleets and could soon be expanded to other nations that operate these helicopters.”

Saturday, 18 December 2021

The NH90 rescues six in the grip of an offshore storm

On Monday, 5 July 2021, radio and television reports issued warnings: Storm Zyprian was approaching Brittany, bringing with it winds of more than 110 km/h (60 knots). At the Lanvéoc-Poulmic naval air base everyone knew exactly what this meant. For several decades, the helicopters of Air Naval Squadron 33F have been standing guard. The outstanding Super Frelon that was in service from 1979 to 2010 was replaced in 2011 by the equally impressive NH90 Caïman. However, Public Service (PS) missions have remained essential: they still involve taking off in all weather conditions, facing the raging elements and providing assistance, far out to sea if necessary. Most of the 33F’s resources are based at Lanvéoc-Poulmic (Presqu'ile de Crozon, Brittany), but it also supplies the PS unit in Cherbourg, as well as aircraft and crews onboard multi-mission frigates.

Too far for SNSM’s star

“On 5 July, due to the storm, the Maritime Operations Centre in Brest had placed us on high alert to take off in less than an hour,” explains Lieutenant Jean-Baptiste, aircraft commander. “One aircraft was reserved for this alert, and we had also requested the preparation of a replacement aircraft.”

By the end of the day, the winds had strengthened over the Finistère department and swept relentlessly inland. Further west, on the open sea, it was hell for the occupants of the Don Quijote, a 12 meter Danish sailing vessel facing a force 7 sea, with 8 meter high waves. Shortly after 9 p.m., the vessel was overturned by a breaker and lost its mast. There was only one thing left for the crew to do: activate the distress beacon and wait, hoping that emergency services would be able to face the elements... In the next few minutes, the CROSS (Regional Operational Centre for Monitoring and Rescue) picked up the signal and gave the alert. The sinking vessel was located 80 nautical miles off the coast, west of the Crozon peninsula. This was too far for the SNSM rescue vessel: rescue by helicopter was the only option.

“I was at home, just checking the weather situation when the alert was triggered,” continued Lieutenant Jean-Baptiste. “They quickly explained the situation to me: we knew it was a sailing vessel, we knew its geographical position, but we didn’t know exactly what the problem was. I suggested to the CROSS that the helicopter should be medically equipped and sent out with the French Army Health Service’s SMUR maritime team put on call. I quickly called my helicopter diver and we agreed that we should also take a second diver as backup: the situation on the vessel could be very complicated...”

By the time the emergency crew had gathered and geared up, the aircraft was out of its hangar and ready to go. The procedure is well established: just 38 minutes after the first phone call from CROSS, the NH90 Number 17, call sign Rescue Cyclone Victor, was in the air, heading west. Onboard were the pilot (also aircraft commander), the TACCO (tactical coordinator and co-pilot), a winch operator, two divers, a doctor and a nurse.

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Where snow giants play............The Finnish Defence Forces use the NH90 in the country’s cold, dark winters—proof it’s able to take a beating

At minus-30° C, there’s little room for waiting around. Either you’re prepared or you suffer. Either your helicopter starts or you pack it in.

It is the former for the Finnish Army, where wintertime in the northern latitudes promises below-zero temperatures, permanent snow cover, and less than six hours of daylight on the shortest days. In this unforgiving terrain, the army operates NH90 TTH helicopters from its base at Utti, near Finland’s southern coast.

In 2015, the Finnish Defence Forces received their 20th and final NH90 as part of a fleet replacement programme, retrofitting them over the next four years to become one of the first NH90 user nations with its fleet 100% at final operational capability.

As the only armed forces branch with a helicopter regiment (the Border Guard also operates rotorcraft), the Finnish Army is called on for the whole spectrum of missions. Special Operations Forces (SOF) make up the bulk, but they support all three branches as, for example, the Army with troop and cargo transport, the Air Force with search and rescue and, in a year’s time, the Navy with tactical sea mine drops. On the civil side, the army supports law enforcement, as well as the national health system doing medevac and search and rescue. Not to mention fire fighting with the Bambi bucket.

The Spanish NH90: ready for Mali

In September 2016 the Spanish Army received its first NH90 tactical troop transport helicopters (TTH). Since then, a total of 14 NH90s have been delivered in the Standard 1 and 2 configurations. Now that they are fully operational, these helicopters will be undertaking their first overseas deployment in the coming months to take part in the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) in Mali to support the Malian Army.

The NH90s operated by the BHELMA III (1) of the FAMET (2) will be tasked with providing tactical transport, support for special operations forces, combat recovery and combat SAR, electronic warfare, logistics support, medical evacuation operations and fire support with their two M3M MK3 12.7 mm machine guns.

Greater capacity for the FAMET

Brigadier Francisco Javier Marcos Izquierdo, Commander of the FAMET, had the following to say regarding the incorporation of the NH90: “The improvements offered by this latest-generation helicopter (enhanced speed, range and navigation, all-weather capacity, more secure communications, greater load capacity at high altitude and in hot conditions, etc.) enhance our effectiveness when carrying out missions such as tactical transport, aerial assaults and other special operations in the most demanding conditions.”

Over the last five years, the main focus has been on completing the training of pilots, specialists and on-board operators. More than 6,000 flight hours have been devoted to these tasks, while maintaining operational availability levels comparable to those of other fleets using this model. New mission systems have been progressively incorporated to optimise its features (ballistics protection, roller loading system, 12.7 mm machine guns, electronic warfare system, rappel and fast rope systems and a cargo hook). Meanwhile, the Standard 2 configuration of the Spanish NH90 includes new equipment such as the ultra-long-range electrooptical/ infra-red system, the IRIDIUM satellite telephone and a double rescue hoist.