First flight of the Belgian Air Component NH90 NFH maritime helicopter at August 5, 2013. (Image © NHI)

First navy NH90 for Belgium

First flight of the Belgian Air Component NH90 NFH maritime helicopter on August 5, 2013. (Image © NHI)
First flight of the Belgian Air Component NH90 NFH maritime helicopter on August 5, 2013. (Image © NHI)

The first Belgian maritime NH Industries NH90 performed its first 45 minutes of flight at the Eurocopter facility Donauwörth in Germany on August 5, 2013.

,,The crew successfully tested the basic systems of this new generation aircraft”, writes a press spokesperson of NH Industries. ,,During the next weeks, this first Belgian NH90 NFH will perform several other test flights in order to check the aircraft behaviour and its mission system with industry and customer crews.”

The Belgian armed forces ordered eight NH90s, four TTHs for tactical transport operations and four NFHs for naval operations. The first Belgian army version of the NH90 flew already on September 19th, 2012. The Belgian NH90 navy variant is delivered in its full operational capability standard, already known as the Step B. This aircraft is very close to the Dutch NH90 NFH Step B currently operationally deployed with the Royal Netherlands Navy.

The NH90 NFH is a helicopter of 11 ton class primarily configured to perform naval operations such as search-and-rescue at sea, anti-piracy missions and transport. The chopper features a full glass cockpit with multifunction displays, fly-by-wire controls with 4-axis automatic flight control system. The dedicated mission system includes an electro optic sensor, tactical control and tactical communication system, a multimode radar and an on-board monitoring and diagnostic system. Two Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca RTM322 engines provide power.

NH Industries is a consortium of AgustaWestland (32%), Eurocopter (62.5%), and Stork Fokker (5.5%). So far 153 NH90s have been delivered with firm orders of 529 aircraft for 14 nations: France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Greece, Oman, Australia, New-Zealand, Spain and Belgium.

Source: NH Industries

Check out the Belgian Air Component Orbat at Scramble.nl