Airbus Helicopters has delivered the 15th NH90 NFH multi-mission naval helicopter to the French Navy.
The latest handover of NH90 NFH marks the first aircraft to be delivered in the final radar configuration (FRC).
The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) had placed an order with NHIndustries for 27 NH90 NFH helicopters in two different configurations for the French Navy.
The navy has received 15 aircraft so far and declared operational capability for the aircraft in the anti-submarine operational role in December last year.
The NH90's naval version is designed to carry out an array of missions, such as anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare, search and rescue, maritime surveillance and control and special operations, including counter terrorism and anti-piracy.
With the final radar configuration, the aircraft features advanced sonar, which offers the navy enhanced submarine detection and classification capabilities.
In addition, it provides a new system for the digital map generator (DMG) that facilitates mission preparation and execution.
In harsh operating conditions, the aircraft will demonstrate enhanced safety and maximum flight performance thanks to its four-axis autopilot and the fly-by-wire controls.
According to Airbus, the twin-engine, medium-size NH90 is the first serial helicopter in the world to feature fly-by-wire technologies, which are designed to minimise pilot workload to operate the aircraft with ease.
In addition to these 27 NH90 NFH, France had also ordered 34 NH90 aircraft, the army version tactical transport helicopter (TTH).
The NH90 helicopter programme is managed by NHIndustries, a consortium consisting of Airbus Helicopters, AgustaWestland and The Netherlands' Fokker.
The consortium has delivered 249 NH90 so far to 13 countries and reported more than 95,000 flight hours.
Image: The latest delivery of NH90 NFH marks the first aircraft to be delivered in the final radar configuration (FRC). Photo: courtesy of Airbus Helicopters, Eric Raz.