MARIGNANE, France, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Eurocopter of France reports a declaration of compliance for the NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopter variant's final operational configuration.
The declaration marks the NH-90 TTH's development completion and enables deliveries to begin before year-end in the helicopter's full operational definition.
"The milestone marks the most important achievement in the life of the NH90 program," said Lutz Bertling, the president and chief executive officer of Eurocopter, which is a member of the NH90 industrial team.
"NH90, the most modern rotary-wing aircraft in its class and the largest military helicopter program ever undertaken in Europe, offers now its full range of operational capabilities to the military forces.
"Completing the NH90 TTH's compliance process confirms this multi-role helicopter will meet the specifications and operational requirements of the founding customers."
The declaration of compliance was issued by the NATO Helicopter Management Agency, which is alliance's organization that manages NH90 acquisition for participating countries.
The initial NH90 TTH variant in the final operational configuration is to be received by the French army. It will be followed by the startup of deliveries next year to Italy, Belgium and Germany.
The new-generation NH90 TTH is designed for use in a wide range of missions, including logistics and utility transport, combat search and rescue, casualty and medical evacuation, electronic warfare, special operations and counter-terrorism.
In its approved final operational configuration, the helicopter offers a matured avionics system, allowing day and night missions with no major restrictions; full military communications system functionality for interoperability in foreign operations; a complete set of technical publications; and the approval for overseas deployments by ship.
Produced in two basic versions -- the Tactical Troop Transport and NATO Frigate Helicopter -- the 12-ton class rotary-wing aircraft provides a common platform for army and navy and air force roles, enabling countries to rationalize helicopter fleets while organizing training and support on a larger scale, with flexible management of personnel and equipment.
Its large cabin, rapid access with two lateral sliding doors and optional rear ramp and quick role-change capability ensures mission flexibility for multiple operational scenarios.
A total of 529 NH90s, of which 418 are for the Tactical Transport Helicopter version, have been ordered by 14 nations.
Six NH90 final assembly lines are operational in France, Germany, Italy, Finland, Australia and Spain under direction of the pan-European NHIndustries industrial organization, which is owned by Eurocopter, AgustaWestland and Fokker Aerostructures.
More than 80 NH90s have been delivered to military services, with the aircraft logging 19,100 flight hours.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defense and related services.
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