6 months ago

Magazine Helicopter Industry #102

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HELICOPTER INDUSTRY I BREAKING NEWS I EUROPE ©NHI BELGIUM COULD WITHDRAW ITS NH90TTH «Confronted with a profound change and an extraordinary challenge», according to the expression used in their press release, the Belgian Defense is forced to drastically reduce its NH90 fleet. In order to do so, the Belgian Ministry of Defense could prematurely withdraw from service its four NH90TTHs, the last of which was delivered in 2014. According to the press release, «the measures related to the TTH version of the NH-90 are do to its limited operational production from the imperfect industrial support (which threatens to diminish in the coming years), as a result of very costly but necessary upgrades and personnel shortages». The excessively high operational cost has in fact forced a 40% reduction in the 1050 flight hours initially allocated by the government until 2022. Although considerable, this figure, however, comes as no surprise since a report by the Kingdom’s Court of Auditors dating back to 2019, had already mentioned the «budgetary» drift of the aircraft. With the help of the crisis, the Belgian Defense would therefore choose to concentrate primarily on the NFH (Nato Frigate Helicopter) version which, in its maritime role, should increase the efficiency of the frigates and at the same time ensure the SAR (Search and Rescue) mission. However, the possible withdrawal of the land version of the NH90 within two years could have major operational consequences for the Land and Medical Components, which would have to find a new aircraft. Belgian Defense says it has several leads currently under review. In particular, there are discussions of an acquisition of H145s, which are already possessed by Germany and Luxembourg. A multi-purpose machine that would enable the salvage of the Belgian budget, and at the same time allow the replacement of the NH90 and A109, which have been in service since 26 years. To be continued… MORE ABOUT NH90 HI I 8

©Cyril Abad - Safran SAFRAN TO SUPPORT GERMAN AND NORWEGIAN NH90 ENGINES Safran Helicopter Engines has signed a support contract with the NATO Helicopter Management Agency (NAHEMA), to support 276 NH90 engines owned by BAAINBw (Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support) in Germany and the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA). The RTM322 engines will be covered by Safran’s Global Support Package (GSP) under NAHEMA management. This NH90 helicopters fleet is operated by the German Army (Deutsches Heer) and Navy (Deutsche Marine), and the Royal Norwegian Air Force (Luftforsvaret). Within this agreement, their engines will be supported under a framework agreement with NAHEMA. Giorgio Gomma, General Manager of NAHEMA, said: «the Global Support Package and its philosophy as a Service by the Hour Contract based on an availability commitment for the supported engines represents a further step in the direction of unifying In Service Support of NH90 community». Olivier Le Merrer, Safran Helicopter Engines EVP Support and Services, said, «this new contract is founded on the excellent service experience we have developed with the German and Norwegian armed forces. It also marks a major milestone in our partnership with NAHEMA and European NH90 users. We are extremely proud of their commitment to a GSP supporting RTM322-powered rotorcraft. We are committed to offering world-class support to all European armed forces». In 2017, Safran Helicopter Engines and NAHEMA agreed a support program protecting RTM322 engines installed on NH90s operated by France’s armed forces, the Belgian Army and Navy and the armed forces of the Netherlands. Under a GSP, the customer receives a commitment to engine availability. Other benefits include budget stability, a fixed price per engine flying hour and a technical partnership with the OEM. MORE ABOUT SAFRAN HELICOPTER ENGINES HI I 9