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Author Topic: More NFH90 Trouble  (Read 3440 times)

Offline tigershark

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More NFH90 Trouble
« on: July 22, 2008, 03:06:23 AM »
More NFH90 Trouble

Posted by Joris Janssen Lok at 7/21/2008 4:34 AM CDT

The naval version of the European NH90 helicopter -- the NFH90 -- is turning into a real problem child. The Netherlands defense ministry reports that NH Industries (the consortium behind the NH90) has announced yet another delay in the program: the first fully-capable NFH90 for the Dutch (expected to have entered service last year) will not be delivered before November 2011.

A partly-capable version (with which some training and limited, shore-based operational flying could be performed) will only be available by the end of 2009 or early 2010, Dutch undersecretary for defense procurement Jack de Vries reports to the country's Parliament.

The nations that have ordered the NFH90 (France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway -- Germany has wisely not placed its NFH90 order yet) are deliberating whether to accept NH Industries' offer to supply partly-capable helicopters, says de Vries.
The first NFH90 for the Netherlands has been flying as an industry-owned test aircraft since last year, but subsystem integration and development and qualification issues are holding up the full-up version until late-2011. Photo: Netherlands MoD

Furthermore, the Netherlands has also run into difficulties with the procurement of the NFH90 full mission flight trainer. De Vries says that according to Rotorsim, the consortium selected to build the simulator, this is becoming much more expensive than foreseen and will not be available prior to 2011, meaning serious delays in NFH90 aircrew training for the Dutch.

Furthermore, the simulator will initially (the first four years, 2011-2014) be based in Italy meaning that Dutch personnel will have to travel there for training, resulting in almost $1 million in T&E cost to be carried by the Dutch defense budget, de Vries admits.

Under the NFH90 contract, signed in 2000, the 20 helos for the Netherlands would be delivered between 2007-2012. Because of delays announced by NH Industries in 2007, the delivery schedule was adjusted to see the first NFH90 arrive in July 2009 with deliveries continuing through 2013.

But recently, NH Industries reported further delays with the first delivery of a full-up NFH90 shifted almost two years to the right, from July 2009 to April 2011. And now, yet another delay has been announced pushing that delivery date even further out, to November 2011, de Vries says.

This would be because of "administrative activities" that NH Industries has to perform for the temporary configuration.

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