NH90, yay or nay?

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6 years 5 months

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a few years have passed since it entered service and what say ye? great looking helicopter but seems to be plagued with ongoing teething issues, improper layout placements, and high costs seemingly make it seem that the Blackhawks, Hips, and Merlins to be a better value for operators.
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6 years 8 months

Posts: 253

It had potential but was ultimately sabotaged by poor reliability and spares that cost to much. Apaches had a similar problem but once US got involved in Iraq and Afghanistan in early 2000s they were fixed. A similar transformation for NH90 is possible but unlikely given the bad taste the NH90 has left in all the customer mouth.

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11 years 7 months

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I seem to recall that the floor was too weak for certain loads (and damaged by guests in high heels at airshows), and the fuselage too delicate for austere landings- not so good for a battlefield utility helo....

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13 years 8 months

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It seems that the corrosion problems that the Dutch naval NH90s suffered from have been solved: http://www.lieuwedevries.com/?page_id=2891#.WkVOvN-nGUl You don't really hear many problems about the NH90 today - I suppose they have 'resolved' many of the other problems it suffered. Germany has recently taken delivery of some new example recently.
Profile picture for user Trident

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The high heels thing was real AFAIK - the floor panels are composite skin over honeycomb core and naturally not very good at bearing highly concentrated loads if they happen to align with one of the holes in the honeycomb. Embarrassing, but not sure if it's such a big problem for the job it was designed to do.

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11 years 7 months

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I found the older article that indicated that the floor damage was not just high heels (which came at a later airshow), but boots: "Clearance is so limited that soldiers have trouble getting in and out of the helicopter; the rear ramp is too weak to support fully equipped soldiers; the plane's floor is so sensitive that it can be cracked by boots; and the seats are unable to accommodate more than 240 pounds". https://www.upi.com/Germany-not-happy-with-NH90-helicopter/28161267127259/ Guess this has been addressed.
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15 years 4 months

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With some of those you have to wonder if the problem wasn't so much the engineering as the specs from the armed forces which it was then faithfully designed to meet. It's a late Cold War project at heart, and I can see how a modern soldier might carry a lot more gear than envisioned back then - much like up-armoured AFVs have outgrown the cross section and payload weight of the C-130J.

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I found the older article that indicated that the floor damage was not just high heels (which came at a later airshow), but boots:
The Australian Department of Defence found similar issues. Essentially the helicopter was not equipped for battlefield conditions and none of the systems were currently capable of operating in a high threat scenario. Some of that blame lies with the Aus DoD who demonstrated some poor project management and requirements definition (although in their defence they recommended the UH-60 and were overruled by the Government of the day) but also the immaturity of the design, even in 2014, was pretty clear.
During the audit, the MRH90 Program was dealing with a range of challenges related to immaturity in the MRH90 system design and the support system. The challenges include: resolving MRH90 cabin and role equipment design issues so that operational test and evaluation validates the MRH90 aircraft’s ability to satisfy Operational Capability Milestones set by Army and Navy; the continuing need to conduct a wide range of verification and validation activities on problematic or deficient aircraft systems; increasing the reliability, maintainability and flying rate of effort of the MRH90 aircraft; embedding revised sustainment arrangements directed toward improving the value for money of these arrangements; establishing a revised Australian industry activities plan, including performance metrics; funding and managing the extended concurrent operation of the Army S‑70A‑9 Black Hawk and MRH90 aircraft fleets; and managing a Navy capability gap following the retirement of the RAN Sea King aircraft in December 2011.
https://www.anao.gov.au/work/performance-audit/multi-role-helicopter-program
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5 years 4 months

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Certainly, if you would have to designate an Yaysayer Lead Nation, we Italians are the natural candidate for it. No main problem ever detected, all deliveries in the correct timing, performance surpassing several requisites, first ones to declare them (TTH version)operative (and this directly in Afghanistan!) although having received them after Germany and France. So, if your own ones are giving you problems you can freely give the poor puppies to us, at a simbolic price obviously!
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10 years 10 months

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In Norways case, the NH-90 has been a huge disaster. A few month ago, the news(****) hit the fan, and it was the NH-90 cannot operate out from our Frigates and Coastguard assets. Like how is this possible, the NH-90 has been severely delayed over the years, and now that we received the very first of em, they cannot operate as we planned. Its not just the NH-90 fault here.. its our MoD as well.

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6 years 11 months

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maybe Norway should look at AW159 Wildcat if the UK are dumb enough to get rid of them
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5 years 4 months

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@ Haavarla What is exactly the reason because they cannot operate from them? They lack some components for operating the helicopters or just they do not fit into?
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10 years 10 months

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Not sure, but the general issue is the NH-90 can't handle the stress, tear nd wear when stationed on our Frigates. Its especial in medium and bad weather.
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9 years 7 months

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Is it something specific for Norwegian Kystvakt or maritime conditions, in general?
Profile picture for user haavarla

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Not a clue. Yes we have pretty ****ty conditions out in open Northern Atlantic and Barent Sea. I just read somewhere our MoD could not certify the NH-90 Maritime operation, at least not the way they hoped for. We can ofcource fly them for other missions.

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Sputniknews , really ?
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And what?
Profile picture for user Marcellogo

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So it seems that issues sprung from them being used in certain extreme weather conditions: being a multinational programme (and a relevant commercial success) it can surely be that some peculiar scenarios, like a 20° ship deck rolls, were just not taken into consideration. Also because forecasting moisture problems for a Netherland's helo in the carribeans would have been a feat also for Nostradamus...

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7 years 7 months

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Schedule delays were embarrassing, Finnish Army had to send some old Mi-8's to Russia for refurbishment so the Army would have at least some flyable helicopters while listening to manufacturers latest list of excuses why the wunderchopper wasn't going to make it. FOC variant should become operational this year, only 10 years behind schedule. Manufacturer paid compensation but has taken it all back in form of spares which cost an arm & leg, CPFH is whopping 7000 euros (!!) higher than F/A-18. Reportedly, when the copter works, it works well and cold of winter has not caused any troubles. Seems the chief problem is NHIndustries which probably should have seen some sort of all-inclusive management purge ca. 2005. Oh well, could be worse. Could be Cyclone. :dev2:

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7 years 8 months

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Issue is the NH is much bigger than the legacy Lynx . Tolerances in the hangar on ships that used to operate the lynx are subsequently much less than it used to be, which is a concern when the NH is parked in those hangar in rough seas. The Norwegian are requesting the supplier to certify those tolerances. Am not sure how valid a demand that is, might be depending on the contract I guess. But obviously the earlier delays make relationship to supplier quiet tense. https://www.aftenposten.no/norge/i/ywEXR/Forsvaret-lar-milliardhelikoptre-sta-ubrukt_-frykter-at-de-ikke-taler-parkering-pa-kystvaktfartoy-i-darlig-var