The path not taken.
- Oct 9, 2009
- Reaction score
Via MilitaryPhotos.net: https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/nh90-europes-medium-helicopter-contender-04135/
Oct 31/14: Netherlands. Defence minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert report to the legislature that delays caused by late NH90-NFH deliveries and corrosion issues will cost the Dutch another EUR 105.8 million to keep the existing Eurocopter AS532 Super Puma fleet flying, on top of EUR 1.2 billion for the 20 NH90s. Neighboring Belgium has had a similar experience with its H-3s (q.v. June 6/13).
So far, the Dutch have accepted 13 NH90-NFHs, but deliveries remain suspended (q.v. June 27/14) until the corrosion problem is fixed. The Dutch MvD now expects to have a solution and finish negotiations over who should pay for this by the end of 2014 – a bit of slip from the June forecast of September 2014. The last Dutch NH90 is now scheduled for delivery in 2016. Sources: Flightglobal, “Dutch NH90 delays cost government more than €100 million”.
Oct 24/14: Germany. German media report that a June 2014 NH90 MEDEVAC flight from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan had to make an emergency landing in Termes, Uzbekistan after an engine exploded shortly after takeoff. Most electronic systems immediately failed, and the landing was a narrow escape for the pilots. The NH90 remains in place, until it can be repaired well enough for a short flight to Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, and be transported out in a leased SALIS AN-124 heavy-lift aircraft.
Engineers later found that a drive shaft in the engine was bent, and a report from engineering firm P3 says that a temporary flight ban may be needed. Analysis of numerous machines has raised concerns about engines that had been started too many times in one day, which is a serious limitation for a combat helicopter. P3’s conclusion was that the NH90s wouldn’t be able to support foreign deployments effectively until at least 2016. Sources: Die Welt, “Motor des NH90-Helikopters zu sensibel für Einsatze” | The Local – Germany, “German helicopter fleet ‘not fit for Nato’” | Eurasia.NET, “Helicopter Crash Complicates Germany-Uzbekistan Base Negotiations”.
Oct 15/14: HMD. A 1,500 page from international audit firm KPMG has lots of criticism for the Bundeswehr, and some of its details pertains especially to the NH90.
The Thales TopOwl helmet mounted display comes in for special mention, as its weight is causing pilot injuries that make them unavailable for flying. Co-pilots, who spend their time monitoring the various instruments and screens, are especially hard-hit. The helicopter also gets dinged for not having enough reliable seating, and for corrosion issues (q.v. June 27/14). Sources: Der Spiegel, “Mangel bei der Bundeswehr: Schwere Helme machen Piloten krank”.