NHIndustries NH90 NFH (N-088 / CSX81697) from the Royal Netherlands Navy
at the Royal Netherlands Air Force Open Days 2008, Leeuwarden (the Netherlands)
With its Italian test-serial CSX81697 this would be the first NH90 for the Netherlands, but was finally delivered in 2011!
The NHIndustries NH90 is a medium sized, twin-engine, multi-role military helicopter. It was developed and is manufactured by NHIndustries,
which is wholly owned by Airbus Helicopters, AgustaWestland and Fokker Aerostructures. There are two main variants,
the Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) for Army use and the naval NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH), but each have several sub-types with
different weapons, sensors and cabins. The NH90 was developed in response to NATO requirements for a battlefield helicopter that was
also capable of being operated in the naval environment. The first prototype had its maiden flight in December 1995; the type began
entering service in 2007. As of 2013, a total of thirteen nations have ordered the NH90 with deliveries starting in 2006.
The Netherlands, is one of the original supporters of the programme, which has 20 units on order. 12 NFH for the Navy, and 8 NFH for the Air Force. In 2009, concerns surfaced that design changes had made the helicopter too heavy to operate from Dutch frigates for which they were ordered.
It is unclear what additional changes needed to be made to make them suitable for the Dutch primary role. In 2010, the Royal Netherlands Navy became the first customer to receive the NFH variant, and in 2013 they deployed the type onboard HNLMS De Ruyter (F804) to fight piracy in the
Gulf of Aden. By January 2013, a total of 20 NH90s had been ordered. In June 2014. the Dutch government decided not to accept the last batch
of 7 NH90s due to some 100 shortcomings found in relation to the design, manufacturing and material choice of the aircraft. It was concluded that the shortcomings make the marine helicopters not suitable to be operated over salt water. The Dutch government is seeking repairs
and necessary adaptations at the cost of the manufacturer