RNoAF NH90 troubles...

Ack-Ack

Clanker
The NH90 helicopter was supposed to replace our aging Wesland Lynx Mk 86 (SAR) operated by RNAF 337 Sq. By the way, the Lynx have had an impressive track record operating flawlessly in the arctic waters but reached their end-of-life by 2014. The Norwegian DoD turned down an offer from the US to acquire the Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk and instead chose the NHIndustries helicopter. In 1999 the DoD had signed a contract for 14 NH90s to be delivered no later than 2005, and expected FOC by 2007...
Fast forward; as of today we have received 6 aircrafts but we are still far from FOC! I would like to mention that Norway does not have a Fleet Air Arm; the RNoAF were supposed to operate eight NH90 ASW on the RNN frigates and six NH90 SAR with the Norwegian Coast Guard. Needless to say this whole case has been a travesty!
But the story does not end here.
"We are not alone" - other users have had their share of problems. The German Bundeswehr with a fleet of 100 NH90s reported that the helicopter does not perform as required in the tactical airlift role. The transport of fully laden combat troops with equipment and landings in rough terrain have been a concern due to weight limitations placed on the rear ramp. However the NHIndustries stated that this were problems being addressed in a ongoing design process since the prototype.

In 2014 the Dutch RNAF announced that a NH90 had suffered higher than expected fuselage wear and corrosion following an extended deployment at sea; analysis by the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory attributed the corrosion to design and assembly flaws. In response, NHIndustries launched a corrosion prevention programme and enacted several design modifications. Deliveries of the NH90 to the RNAF was temporarily halted but restarted after the majority of identified points were addressed and an agreement was made by the manufacturer to bear the cost of developing modifications, repairs, and preventive measures against corrosion.

The Australian Defence Force wanted to replace their fleet of aging US-built helicopter with the NH90 designated MRH90 Taipan. The ADF had ordered a total of 46 aircrafts; the majority to be manufactured by Australian Aeorspace (subsidiary of Airbus Helicopters). 40 of these to be operated by the Army Aviation Regiments and six with the 808 Squadron of Royal Australian Navy.
The following is eerily resembling the RNoAF case: – a few years ago the Australian National Audit Office released a report on the MRH90, citing a series of procurement errors and development deficiencies delaying final operational capability, originally planned for first quarter of 2014, until April 2019, nearly five years later than planned. Some nine years after the initial contract was signed, the models first delivered in 2007 had not validated any of the 11 set operational capability milestones, and forced redesigns including bolstered cabin floors and windscreens, rappelling hooks, and door gunner positions; obtaining spare parts and sustaining the helicopters has also been more costly. The Australian Army will be forced to operate its aging S-70A Black Hawk beyond their planned retirement date. Due to the delays, Australia will receive an additional helicopter, for a total of 47.

Recently the Belgian Air Component grounded their six NH90 Caimans due to avionics problems according to BAC C-in-C Gen. Frederik Vansina.

In hindsight, we should probably have chosen the Seahawk...
 
The plural of aircraft is aircraft, not AIRCRAFTS.
 

endure

GCM
Thank you – I stand corrected. Anything else?
Sorry didn't mean to be rude.

Would help if you could say why the Seahawk would be better suited.
 
NH90 underperforms...isn’t that tautology?! :)

Sadly par for the course for European helicopters I’m afraid. The Tiger has been a similar nightmare for the Aussies and others. Indeed, the former stated a couple of years ago that they’d be retiring and replacing their Tigers rather than upgrading them.

Further discussion on the NH90 and Tiger debacles here.

Regards,
MM
 
NH-90 is a piece of pooh, but Airbus still managed to sweeten the deal enough to suck in the gullible from time to time.
 

Le_addeur_noir

On ROPS
On ROPs
Lucky that the British military didn't get lumbered with any of them.
 

gafkiwi

War Hero
The Swedes got some Blackhawks due to them not being good enough AFAIK
How is NZ getting on?
About the same as the Aussies. It seems to be an air frame that tactical troop movement was an after thought when it came to design, Weak rear ramp, small side doors that also have to fit the gun and crewman, no forethought to attachment point for rappelling or fast roping. Kind of strikes me as a flash civilian helo painted green.
 

Le_addeur_noir

On ROPS
On ROPs
About the same as the Aussies. It seems to be an air frame that tactical troop movement was an after thought when it came to design, Weak rear ramp, small side doors that also have to fit the gun and crewman, no forethought to attachment point for rappelling or fast roping. Kind of strikes me as a flash civilian helo painted green.
The gestation of the NH90 has been protracted in the extreme. Hence the name NH90-it should have appeared in the 1990s.

One would have thought with such a protracted gestation, it would be perfect.

Just this last week,3 out of the 4 NH90NFHs of the 40 Sm of the Belgian Air Component were grounded with radar issues. The remaining airframe is being used to keep the crews current, but this one is due to go on maintenance this coming week. They are looking at the back end of next year before all 4 NH90NFHs are back up and running.
 
Every helicopter designer should have a Bell Uh 1D diagram placed on his desk and told that his mission is to meet or exceed the performance of the above, on pain of being thrown from one.
 
The NH90 (and Australian Tiger) issues are one of the factors playing against an A400M purchase in NZ. There’s real nervousness about European products, particularly as similar ‘nice cockpit, shame about the cargo area’ issues associated with the A400M.

Regards,
MM
 

Le_addeur_noir

On ROPS
On ROPs
Every helicopter designer should have a Bell Uh 1D diagram placed on his desk and told that his mission is to meet or exceed the performance of the above, on pain of being thrown from one.
They would be scraping designers off the ground around the Marseilles area forever more.

The NH90 may not exceed the performance of a UH-1D- or it's successors up to the Bell 412- but by god it certainly exceeds the cost of a Huey (or Griffin) by a wide margin!.
 

Le_addeur_noir

On ROPS
On ROPs
The NH90 (and Australian Tiger) issues are one of the factors playing against an A400M purchase in NZ. There’s real nervousness about European products, particularly as similar ‘nice cockpit, shame about the cargo area’ issues associated with the A400M.

Regards,
MM
If the Kiwis do get the A400M, they'll be back at Getafe for gearbox changes on warrenty within a year of delivery-like every other A400M so far.

Hopefully the Kiwis will go for Kawasaki C-2 ( or C-8.5 as it is dubbed on account of being half the size of a C-17A).
 
Top