NHIndustries NH90 TTH (NH-219) from the Finnish Army at the RIAT 2018, RAF Fairford (United Kingdom)
The NHIndustries NH90 is a medium-sized, twin-engine, multi-role military helicopter. It was developed in response to NATO requirements for a battlefield helicopter which would also be capable of being operated in naval environments. The NH90 was developed and is manufactured by NHIndustries, a collaborative company, which is owned by Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo (formerly AgustaWestland) and Fokker Aerostructures.
The first prototype conducted its maiden flight in December 1995; the type first entered operational service in 2007. As of January 2017, the NH90 has logged 127.000 flight hours in the armed forces of thirteen nations. The NH90 has the distinction of being the first production helicopter to feature entirely fly by wire flight controls. There are two main variants, the Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) for army use and the naval NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH); each customer typically has various alterations and customisations made to their own NH90 fleets, such as different weapons, sensors and cabin arrangements, to meet their own specific requirements. In October 2001, Finland signed a contract for 20 NH90 TTHs for the Finnish Army to replace their ageing fleet of Mil Mi-8 helicopters. In March 2008, NHIndustries began NH90 deliveries to Finland; deliveries had been delayed from an initial 2004 date, to minimize further delay, aircraft were first delivered to an Initial Operational Configuration (IOC-) and Nearly Operational Configuration (IOC+), to be later modified by Patria into a Final Operational Configuration (FOC). On 18 June 2015, delivery of the final Finnish NH90 took place. In November 2015, the availability rate was reported as having surpassed 50 percent. All Finnish NH90 TTHs were in Final Operational Configuration (FOC) in 2018, 17 years after order.
The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world's largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July,
usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.
The show typically attracts a total of 150.000 to 160.000 spectators over the weekend.
The 2018 Air Tattoo will reflect the 100th anniversary of the RAF with a commemoration
and celebration of a century of service to the United Kingdom and its allies.