Airbus Helicopters has initiated the flight test campaign for the NH90 Standard 2 prototype, a new configuration developed specifically for the French Army Aviation to support special forces operations, according to a press release.

The French Ministry for Armed Forces has ordered 18 NH90s in the Standard 2 configuration, with flight testing set to continue until the end of the year in line with the schedule agreed upon with the French Armament General Directorate (Direction Générale de l’Armement).

The NH90 Standard 2 configuration features several enhancements, including the integration of the Safran Euroflir 410 electro-optical system, a new digital map generator, accommodations for a third crew member, and enlarged rear sliding windows capable of housing self-protection guns.

The prototype has been equipped with mechanical and electrical provisions for the future integration of the Distributed Aperture System (DAS) and a new generation Helmet Mounted Sight Digital Display (HMSD-DD).

These systems are intended to enhance the capabilities of special forces operating in demanding conditions.

This flight test campaign is part of a programme initiated in 2020 by the NATO Helicopter Management Agency (NAHEMA) and NHIndustries (NHI), along with its partner companies Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo, and Fokker, to develop and upgrade 10 NH90 TTHs to the Standard 2 configuration.

Following the launch of this programme, NAHEMA awarded a contract to NHIndustries in December 2023 for the production of eight additional NH90 TTHs in the Standard 2 configuration, reinforcing the French Ministry for Armed Forces’ confidence in the NH90 programme.

By the end of the decade, the French Army Aviation will operate a total of 81 NH90 TTHs. Since its first delivery to the French Army in 2011, 63 NH90 TTHs have been delivered, accumulating 50,000 flight hours. The NH90 was first deployed in operational missions in Mali in 2014.

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Lisa has a degree in Media & Communication from Glasgow Caledonian University and works with industry news, sifting through press releases in addition to moderating website comments.
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John Clark
John Clark (@guest_827998)
7 days ago

So, how are the French getting on with their NH90’s, better than other uses it would seem?

Better financed support perhaps?

Tullzter (@guest_828059)
7 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Seems to be a mixed bag, some operators swear by it, and others hate it

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg (@guest_828071)
7 days ago

Maybe it’ll enable them to retreat even faster from Africa

Last edited 7 days ago by Levi Goldsteinberg