Naval Air: NATO Frigate Helicopter Arrives


April 27, 2010: The Netherlands recently received its first (of 20) NH-90 NFH (NATO Frigate Helicopter). While as roomy inside as the competing S-70 and the EH-101, it is compact enough to operate from the smallest frigates and some 1,000 ton class corvettes. The Netherlands is using the NH-90 to replace its Lynx helicopters. The naval version carries two pilots and a sensor operator. Sensors include dipping sonar and sonobuoys, magnetic anomaly detector, FLIR (heat sensing), radar and electronic warfare gear.

Costing about $44 million each, the ten ton NH90 can also be configured to carry 21 troops or twelve casualties on stretchers, plus a crew of two. It first flew in 1995. The manufacturer, NH Industries, is a consortium of French, German, Dutch and Italian firms. The NH-90 has a max speed of 300 kilometers an hour and has an endurance of up to five hours. The naval version can carry a pair of light weight torpedoes, or anti-ship missiles. There are over a hundred NFH models on order.


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