AIRBUS HELICOPTERS and Patria, the company responsible for the local assembly of the NH90, has marked the milestone of the delivery of the 20th and final Finnish NH90 during a ceremony with the customer at Patria’s facility in Halli, Finland. The hand over took place in June, but was not announced until yesterday, July 9.
“These helicopters are used by the Finnish Defense Forces for tasks such as national defence, international crisis management and for SAR missions” said Jussi Ristimäki, FDF Programme Manager for the NH90.
The first flight of a Finnish NH90 took place at the Airbus Helicopters facility in Marignane, France, in 2004 and the Finnish customer took delivery of its first NH90 in 2008. The remaining 19 helicopters were assembled by Patria in Finland. The contract was signed in 2001 for an order for 20 NH90 TTH versions for the Finnish Armed Forces and they have reached more than 7, 500 flight hours since delivery.
“The delivery of this last serial helicopter is a significant milestone for the Finnish NH90 programme, and now moving forward we will concentrate on the retrofit programme, which is already in progress,” said Ernst Heckert, NHI and Airbus Helicopters Program Manager for the Finnish NH90. Delays with the programme had led to Finland renegotiating the contract in 2013. The new deal includes a series of modifications to bring the helicopters in line with critical Finnish Defence Force operational requirements. Alan Warnes