NHIndustries announced the first flights for the new Naval Frigate and Tactical Transport Helicopters for Qatar Armed Forces. The flights were completed on December 15th and 18th at Leonardo’s Venice Tessera plant and Airbus Helicopters Marignane (Marseille) plant respectively, setting a major milestone in the Qatar Ministry of Defence’s NH90 programme development.
“This is an outstanding achievement for Leonardo, Airbus Helicopters and Fokker teams in Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands, and demonstrates the clear capability to achieve significant program milestones, despite the criticality of the period caused by the pandemic crisis affecting our operations” was commonly shared by Nathalie Tarnaud-Laude, President and Claudio Nittoli, Managing Director of NHIndustries.
The flights included take-off, general handling, functional checks and landing operations. Crew reported that helicopters performed as expected.
These two helicopters represent the firsts of the series that will be produced in Italy (Tessera) and France (Marignane) in order to fulfil the commitments taken with the contract signed in March 2018 for the provision of 28 medium twin-engine NH90s to the Ministry Defence of Qatar, as well as extensive maintenance support and training services package for aircrews and maintenance technicians.
The acceptance of the first NH90s by the Qatar Emiri Air Force is scheduled to start before the end of 2021, with the last helicopter planned to be delivered in 2025.