First NH90 NFH helicopter for Belgium Navy delivered
The first NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH) for Belgium has been delivered to the Belgium armed forces, bringing advanced, highly capable and fully-qualified rotary-wing aircraft capabilities to meet the nation’s multi-role mission requirements a step closer. Belgium has ordered eight NH90s in total, including four NFH naval versions.
The NH90 NFH will replace the Belgium Navy’s Sea King helicopters.
The delivery will see Belgium become the fifth country to put the European-developed NH90 NFH version into service, joining France, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway. The aircraft delivered today is rated at Full Operational Capability (FOC), ensuring its aptitude for the full range of Belgium naval missions – such as Search and Rescue (SAR) or military missions at sea.
Belgium will begin training of Belgium Navy flight and maintenance crews on the NH90 NFH next month, with operations to be initiated in 2014 using its first two helicopters.
Michel Polychroniadis, director of the NH90 programme at Eurocopter, said: ‘The NH90 NFH is operationally proven, and Belgium will benefit from this helicopter’s already validated performance, reliability and versatility. The Belgium acceptance teams and flight crews have been impressed by the NH90 NFH’s flight stability and its capabilities, providing a preview of the operational enhancements that will be provided for the country’s army.’
The helicopter was the first aircraft built at Eurocopter’s Donauwörth, Germany industrial site – demonstrating this facility’s capability to assemble and deliver these new-generation twin-engine helicopters.
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