French army expands NH90 production order

By Craig Hoyle

The French army has increased its production order for NH Industries NH90 tactical transport helicopters (TTH) to 34, following the award of a 22-unit follow-on order late last month.

France in November 2007 signed an initial order for 12 NH90 TTHs via the NATO Helicopter Management Agency, with its army requirement then including options on a further 56 aircraft.

Deliveries of the army's TTH airframes (Finnish air force example pictured, below) will start in 2011, with all its examples to be completed at lead NH90 stakeholder Eurocopter's Marignane site near Marseilles. The French navy is also to receive 27 NH90 maritime helicopters under a separate order placed in 2000.

Eurocopter says the NHI consortium - which also comprises AgustaWestland and Stork Fokker - has now received orders for 529 NH90s, with 25 delivered to date and a further 50 in construction.

In addition to France, other nations to have ordered the twin-engined NH90 are Australia, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

© Reed Business Information 2009

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