The aircraft is in the 11-ton class and is built around a dual bus Core Avionic System. It features a full glass cockpit with Multifunction Displays and fly-by-wire controls with a four-axis automatic flight control system.
Its dedicated mission system includes forward looking infrared radar system, helmet-mounted sight and display, an electronic warfare system, a digital map generator and an on-board monitoring and diagnostic system.
Although primarily for tactical transport, the aircraft can be used for special operations, search and rescue and casualty evacuation missions.
Four of the helicopters ordered are for the Belgium army and four are for the navy.
"We are very pleased to participate to the modernization of the Belgian Defense Forces with the NATO helicopter of the 21st century," said Xavier Poupardin, the delegated managing director of NHIndustries.
NHIndustries is owned by AgustaWestland, Eurocopter and Stork Fokker.