The Italian Navy will receive a mission planning and analysis system (MPAS) for its NH90 NFH medium twin naval helicopters fleet from Finmeccanica subsidiary AgustaWestland.
Under the contract, the company will assist the Italian Navy to deploy and deliver maximum availability of the MPAS during operations as part of a three-year initial In Service Support package.
The MPAS is based on AgustaWestland's proven multi-helicopter flight and mission planning solution, the Skyflight planning system, which is also used by helicopter fleets from Netherlands and the UK.
The system provides enhanced situational awareness, flight and mission planning functionality, and a complete aircraft data upload / download capability to meet the multi-mission and multi-platform mission planning system requirement for the Italian Navy NH90 helicopters.
The NH90 NFH variant is specifically designed to conduct autonomous as well as anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions, including search and rescue, maritime patrol, vertical replenishment, troop transport, medical evacuation and amphibious support.
The helicopter features a deck-lock system, deck-traversing system, and an automatic blade and tail folding system, which enables the aircraft to operate from small frigates, day and night, and in adverse weather conditions.
The MPAS contract was awarded by the Nato Helicopter Management Agency and the system is expected to be fully operational with the Italian navy by the end of 2013. The system will also be deployed across major Italian Navy operating bases and vessels.
A total of 46 NH90 NFH units have been ordered by the Italian Navy to increase its operational capability and mission effectiveness.
The Skyflight system has also been deployed by the Royal New Zealand Air Force to support mission planning of their AW109 LUH helicopters.