NHIndustries and NATO sign contract for NH90 helicopter Block 1 upgrade

Airbus Helicopters

NHIndustries (NHI) and the NATO Helicopter Management Agency (NAHEMA) have officially signed a contract to develop and qualify the NH90 Block 1 upgrade, also known as Software Release 3.  

The NH90 is a twin-engine military transport helicopter developed in partnership between France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. NHIndustries regroups Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo Helicopters Division and Fokker Technologies. 

The €600 million program will upgrade the NH90 fleet of four operators, with NAHEMA representing Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy. It involves the enhancement of both naval and land-based helicopters, specifically the Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) and NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH) variants. 

“The signature of the SWR3 contract, which marks the launch of the NH90 Block 1 upgrade, is an important milestone for the NH90 programme and is a clear sign that our NATO customers trust the NH90 and plan on operating it for many more decades to come,” said Axel Aloccio, President of NHI and Head of NH90 Programme at Airbus Helicopters. “We have a clear plan to extend the life span of the NH90 up to 50 years and we will need to upgrade the aircraft to make sure it stays relevant on the battlefield of tomorrow.” 

The upgrade will concentrate on improving the NH90’s avionics and integrating the Mark 54 anti-submarine torpedo and the Marte ER anti-ship missile. This program is set to be implemented on about 200 NH90 helicopters. 

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