Leonardo delivers first Qatari NH90 TTH
The Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) has received its first NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH), Leonardo announced on 3 January.
The first TTH-variant helicopter was delivered on 11 December 2021 with 15 more to follow by 2025. Shephard Defence Insight estimates that the TTHs for the QEAF are costing Qatar $624 million.
By 2025, a dozen NH90 NFH helicopters for naval operations will also have been delivered to Qatar for $756 million following a period of qualification tests.
Delivery of the first NFH aircraft is planned ‘in the next coming months’, Leonardo noted. The helicopter is capable of operating from the four new Al Zubairah-class corvettes, the first of which was delivered to the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces in October 2021.
Leonardo is the prime contractor for the 28-aircraft programme with responsibility for final assembly and delivery of the NH90 NFH helicopters, while final assembly with the TTHs is carried out by Airbus Helicopters.
The deal also includes a comprehensive support, maintenance & training services package ‘and associated infrastructure’, according to Leonardo.
TTH and NFH variants flew in Qatar during National Day celebrations on 18 December 2021.
Qatar has the option to acquire up to 12 additional NH90 helicopters in either configuration.
More from Defence Helicopter
Leonardo has said that it expects to finalise export contracts for both the AW101 and AW159 helicopters from new customers before the end of 2022.
Lockheed Martin will add capabilities to bring Block 1 Seahawk helicopters to the Block 3 armed configuration.
The US Army's decision to integrate new light scout helicopters with open systems architecture should be decisive in countering future threats, according to Bell.
Engine manufacturer Safran has signed a contract to support the engines of the Royal New Zealand Air Force fleet of eight NH90 helicopters, covering 21 RTM 322 turboshafts.
Leonardo has outlined long-term AW149 helicopter production plans, which will see an end to production of the 8t aircraft at the manufacturer's Vergiate facility in Italy.