Italy receives first NH90 TTH in FOC configuration
The Italian Army has taken delivery of the first NH90 tactical transport helicopter (TTH) in Final Operational Capability configuration at an official ceremony at AgustaWestland’s Venice Tessera plant. This is the 21st of 60 NH90 helicopters delivered by AgustaWestland to Italy as part of an order signed in 2000.
The Italian Army NH90 programme currently has five aircraft in Initial Operational Capability (IOC+) configuration deployed in Afghanistan that have flown a combined 470 flight hours. Despite teething problems with the first detachment reported in late 2012, including windshield cracks and the poor availability of spares, AgustaWestland is pleased with the aircraft’s performance in theatre. According to the company, it is showing ‘outstanding performance, reliability and mission effectiveness in the extreme and demanding environmental, weather and operational conditions there’.
The Italian Army also operates the NH90 programme fleet leader which has now flown approximately 900 flight hours.
The NH90 TTH variant is an 11-tonne class helicopter configured to perform tactical transport missions in all environments by day and night. The helicopter’s mission flexibility enables it to perform additional roles such as internal/external load transport, heliborne operations, special operations, search and rescue, casualties evacuation and training missions.
The NH90 TTH features a high level of system integration built around a dual bus core avionic system, full glass cockpit with multi-function displays, fly-by-wire controls with a four-axis Automatic Flight Control System. The dedicated mission system includes piloting forward looking infrared system, helmet mounted sight and display, obstacle warning system, electronic warfare system, tactical control and tactical communication system, weather radar, digital map generator and an on-board monitoring and diagnostic system.
The aircraft’s self-defence capabilities are enhanced with up to 2 x M134D miniguns and ballistic protection, as well as a fully composite crashworthy fuselage. The Italian Army aircraft are powered by two modern GE/AVIO T700 – T6E1 engines.
The NH90 TTH and the NATO Frigate Helicopter variant have also been ordered by the Italian Navy.
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