The European version of Australia’s new military helicopter has received approval for its final operational configuration from NATO’s Helicopter Management Agency.
Eurocopter, which produces the NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter, hailed the decision as a major milestone and said it would begin delivering final versions of the aircraft to the French army. Deliveries to Italy, Belgium and Germany are set to begin next year.
The Australian version, known as the MRH 90 and manufactured locally by Australian Aerospace, has faced a number of issues including a high profile engine failure, transmission oil cooler fan failures and poor spares availability.
Just 13 of the 46 MRH 90s on order under Phases 2, 4 and 6 of the Air 9000 project have been delivered, with Defence suspending deliveries of the helicopters late last year while issues with the program are resolved.