MH 90
NH 90 Prototype PT2

History of the MH 90 reaches back until 1981, when NATO asked for a new design of a standard NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH). Moreover solutions for a Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) were sought on a national basis. Cost reduction meant, taht NATO asked for a standard helicopter to be developed, which was to be the basis of the future Army and Navy helicopters. These helicopters should have a max. take-off wheight of 9000kg and were designated as NH 90.
A setback for the programme was the retreat of Westland helicopters in 1987, as Great Britain decided to build her own EH101 Merlin helicopter.
The remaining partner countries are:

  • France with a share of 35%
  • Italy                             35%
  • Gemany                       25%
  • Netherlands                   5%

Prototype 2
Germany intends to purchase a total 164 NH 90 helicopters. 114 of these are TTH bound for the Luftwaffe and 50 NFH - meanwhile also known as MH 90 (Marine Hubschrauber 90) for the German Navy.

In march 1992 NHIndustries was founded as manufacturer of the helicopter. Involeved in the project are : Fokker, Agusta, Eurocopter Germany and Eurocopter France.
Preliminary designs were finished by 1993 and the first prototype had it's roll-out on 29th september 1995. Maiden flight of PT 1 took place on 18th december 1995. The second prototype, PT 2, took to the skies on 2nd july 1997.
PT 1 was re-equipped with T700 engines at Agusta and first flown on 13th march 1998.

Responsibilities for the prototypes are as follows:

  • Eurocopter (France)    : Prototypes PT1, PT2 and PT3 representing the "common" helicopters
  • Eurocopter (Germany) : Prototype PT 4, representing the TTH version
  • Augusta (Italy)             : Prototype PT 5, representing the NFH version, and the Ground test vehicle

The German Navy plans to replace both Sealynx and Seaking helicopter types with the NFH from around 2007 onwards.

NH 90 - PT1

(all pictures taken from: NHIndustries Internetsite)

Technical data:

Length             : 16,00m
Rotordiameter      : 16,00m
Height             :  5,60m
Weight empty       : 4000kg
max. Takeoff Weight: 9100kg
max. Speed         : 300km/h
Range              : 700+ km
Serviceceiling     : 15000ft
Rolls-Royce/MTU RTM 322-01/02 or General Electric GE-CT7-6
Thrust             :  approx. 3100kW
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