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NH Industries Lands $643M NATO Deal to Develop NH90 Helicopter Block 1 Upgrade

Home Contract Awards NH Industries Lands $643M NATO Deal to Develop NH90 Helicopter Block 1 Upgrade
NH Industries Lands $643M NATO Deal to Develop NH90 Helicopter Block 1 Upgrade

NH Industries has received a $642.6 million contract from the NATO Helicopter Management Agency to develop and qualify the Block 1 upgrade for the NH90 military aircraft.

Airbus said the upgrade program, Software Release 3, represents a huge capability jump for the combat helicopter’s transport and naval versions.

Under the NAHEMA agreement, NHI will modernize the NH90 fleet operated by Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy, extending the aircraft’s lifespan.

Airbus noted that the project’s initial stage will bump up the aircraft’s communication suite and integrate Data Link 22 into the system, enabling beyond-line-of-sight interoperability without satellite communications.

NHI will also incorporate the latest tracking and electro-optical tech into the platform, allowing it to navigate with a civil-grade global navigation satellite system and flight management system once the Block 1 upgrade becomes fully operational.

NHI President Axel Aloccio, who concurrently serves as NH90 program manager at Airbus Helicopters, noted that the Block 1 program lasts 10 to 15 years.

“We are also planning the Block 2 upgrade that will define the future evolutions of the platform and ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the battlefield of tomorrow,” he said.

Phase 2 of the NH90 upgrade program, which NHI is finalizing, centers on the software deployment to approximately 200 helicopters, the company said.

NHI, co-owned by Airbus Helicopter, Leonardo and GKN Fokker, developed the NH90 combat helicopter to deliver a single aircraft model that meets NATO’s requirements for multirole capability.

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