Airbus Helicopters and Patria, the company responsible for the local assembly of the NH90, marked the important milestone of the delivery of the 20th and last serial NH90 during a ceremony with the customer at Patria’s facility in Halli, Finland.
“These helicopters are used for various tasks of the Finnish Defense Forces such as national defense, international crisis management and for SAR missions” said Jussi Ristimäki, FDF Program Manager for the NH90.
The very first flight of a Finnish NH90 took place in the Airbus Helicopters facility in Marignane in 2004 and the Finnish customer took delivery of the first NH90 in 2008. The remaining 19 helicopters were assembled by Patria in Finland.
The contract was signed in 2001 for an order of 20 NH90 in TTH version for the Finnish Armed Forces and they have reached more than 7, 500 flight hours since delivery.
“The delivery of this last serial helicopter is a significant milestone for the Finnish NH90 Program, and now moving forward we will concentrate on the retrofit program, which is already in progress,” said Ernst Heckert, NHI and Airbus Helicopters Program Manager for the Finnish NH90.
The NH90 is well suited for the severe metrological conditions in Northern Europe. Flying through the clouds causes ice to form, making the NH90’s deicing system indispensable for the Finnish winter. In addition, whiteout conditions are a common occurance during helicopter missions in this cold climate, and clouds, fog, and snow can severely obstruct visibility.
The NH90’s state-of-the art 4-axis autopilot and the fly-by-wire controls contribute to safety and maximum flight performance in such severe operating conditions. The NH90 is the first serial helicopter in the world to be equipped with Fly-By-Wire technologies, significantly reducing pilot workload and allowing for this state-of-the-art helicopter to be piloted with ease.
The twin-engine, medium-size NH90 helicopter program is managed by the consortium NHIndustries, the Company owned by AgustaWestland (32%), Airbus Helicopters (62.5%), and Fokker (5.5%).