Key milestone for AgustaWestland’s NH90 assembly line
Dec. 20, 2011, Venice Tessera, Italy - AgustaWestland is pleased to announce that its new NH90 Final Assembly Line, located at Venice Tessera in Italy, has successfully completed its first year of operations and celebrated the joint delivery of an NH90 TTH to the Italian Army and an NH90 NFH to the Italian Navy on December 16th.
By Carey Fredericks
The facility has completed nine aircraft this year and is set to assemble and deliver up to18 aircraft in 2012.
AgustaWestland's Venice Tessera plant, covering 24,000 m2, is the new Italian final assembly line for the 160 NH90s ordered so far by Italy (Army and Navy, 60 and 56 helicopters respectively), the Netherlands (20), Norway (14) and Portugal (10). The new plant started assembly of NH90s one year ago and delivered its first aircraft in June 2011. The Venice Tessera plant will progressively expand to become the NH90 programme hub for all AgustaWestland customers, including the provision of maintenance, spare parts, engineering services, upgrades and modifications as well as future developments of new product configurations.
The Italian Army has ordered 60 NH90 TTH helicopters which will replace older models currently operated by the service in various utility roles. The Italian Navy has ordered a total of 56 NH90s (46 NFH and 10 TTH units) which will replace old helicopters for a variety of roles including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and utility. The NH90 will give the Italian services a major increase in operational capability and mission effectiveness due to its outstanding technology and performance. A total of 21 NH90 helicopters will have been delivered by AgustaWestland to Italian forces by the end of this year.
The NH90 TTH version is designed for tactical transport of personnel (16 to 20 troops) and material. Additional applications include medical evacuation (12 stretchers), special operations and airborne command post. The NH90 NFH variant is primarily designed for autonomous and joint Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) missions.
The NH90 is the most successful European helicopter programme ever. Firm orders have been placed by 14 countries including France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greece, Spain and Belgium in Europe, as well as Australia, New Zealand and Oman overseas. The NH90, developed in the TTH utility transport and NFH naval versions, can meet the military requirements of customers worldwide for a wide range of roles. The NH90 programme is managed by NAHEMA (NATO Helicopter Management Agency) representing France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Portugal, and by the NHIndustries industrial consortium comprising AgustaWestland (32%), Eurocopter (62.5%), Fokker (5.5%).
In the framework of the entire NH90 programme, AgustaWestland is responsible for the production of the main transmission, tail rotor drive shafts, hydraulic system, automatic flight control system, rear ramp, rear fuselage and on-board computers. Additionally, AgustaWestland is also responsible for the overall integration of the NH90 naval mission system for all NFH variants.