Spain Orders Civil & Military Helicopters from Eurocopter
EADS recently announced the Spanish government’s initial order of 45 NH90 TTH troop transport helicopters, but not the associated figures. The Spanish order is related to a May 2005 decision to pick the NH90 helicopter as their choice for transport and naval helicopter modernization, ultimately replacing the Hueys, H-60 Seahawks, AS332 Super Pumas, and AS532 Cougars currently serving in their Army, Navy and Air Force.
With DID reader Pedro Lucio’s help and translations, we have managed to source the associated value for Spain’s initial NH90 TTH order, as well as details re: the industrial cooperation agreement associated with the NH90 and additional helicopter purchases underway by the Spanish government. Together, the agreements amount to over EUR 2 billion, and include more powerful engines than other NH90 fleets.
The NIH Industries (Eurocopter 62.5% + AgustaWestland 32.5% + Stork Fokker 5%) NH90 can carry up from 16 – 20 equipped troops, or it can be used in naval and search-and-rescue missions as the NH90 NFH. The NH90 integrates fly-by-wire technology, and the latest composite materials to minimize corrosion; it also has a rear ramp that multiplies its tactical and transport options. It has been selected by 14 countries (France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Sultanate of Oman, Australia, Sweden, Netherland, Spain, New Zealand and Belgium), and has emerged as the Sikorsky H-60/92 family’s top international competitor.
With respect to the NH-90s, Spanish Council of Ministers announcements indicate that the authorized contract is for EUR 1.26 billion (currently about $1.66 billion), to be distributed over 19 annuities from 2007-2025. The first deliveries of this initial contract of 45 units will take place in 2010 in the NH90 TTH tactical transport version.
In a closely related matter, the Spanish Ministers’ Council has authorized to the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade to sign a technological and industrial development agreement with Eurocopter Espana S.A. (ECE) re: the NH90 platform. The Department will contribute to the funding of the program via a grant “of returnable lendings to type of interest zero,” up to EUR 990.6 million (currently about $1.3 billion), “depending on his budgetary availabilities.”
Eurocopter is also investing in Spain, and Eurocopter Espana SA’s new plant in Albacete, Spain will be officially opened during Q1 2007. It will perform the assembly of Spain’s NH 90 helicopters, as well as manufacturing the front NH90 fuselage for all customers. Assembly and manufacturing of the rear fuselage of the Tiger HAD attack helicopters and the EC 135s purchased by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior (see below) will be also carried out at Albacete.
See also NIH Industries’ January 11/07 release.
UPDATE: Spain Selects GE Engines for NH90s
June 21/07: GE Aviation announces that Spain’s Ministry of Defense has selected GE’s CT7-8F5 engines to power its 45 NH90 helicopters. The engine generates more power than the standard version installed in existing NH90 helicopters, which should give the Spanish HN90s slightly better performance and capacity.
As part of the deal, GE will implement an industrial plan that will focus on the development and diversification of the Spanish aeronautical industry.
EC135: Spain’s Emerging Light Standard
Likewise, the Ministers’ Council approved a EUR 25 million (currently about $33 million) contract for 4 Eurocopter EC-135-T2 + helicopters, to be delivered to the Military Unit of Emergencies. The funding will be provided in three annuities from 2006-2008.
The EC135 light helicopter is already in service in the Center of Education of Helicopters of the Spanish Army, and has been declared the standard platform for Spain’s Department of the Interior.
On which topic, the Ministry of the Interior (Secretariat of State of Security) will be acquiring 8 more EC135s between 2007 – 2008; 4 will be assigned to the Air Service of the Guardia Civil, and other 4 will go to the Air Service of the Policia Nacional. This contract’s maximum value is EUR 36.8 million (currently about $48 million), divided about evenly between 2007 and 2008.