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Airbus | Europe - Other | Finmeccanica | Helicopters & Rotary | Official Reports | Other Corporation | Policy - Procurement

Finland Receives Suila’s NH90 Program Lessons Report

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Finnish NH90:1st flight(click to view full) It has been a long road for Finland’s NH90-TTH battlefield transport helicopter program. The 2001 Nordic Group contract was intended to replace Finland’s 4 Russian Mi-8 medium helicopters and 8 MD500 light utility helicopters with 20 NH90s that would begin delivery in 2004 and enter service from April 2005 – October 2008, allowing a reorganized helicopter battalion to stand up in 2010. The common procurement action was directly linked to the establishment of the European Union’s Nordic Battle Group (NBG), which also driving other defense buys in the region. A EUR 343 million deal for 20 helicopters was signed on Oct 19/01. First flight did not take place until Sept 15/04, however, and assembly has been years behind schedule. By October 2007, only 3 helicopters had been assembled, and Finland’s Military Aviation Authority was still asking NH Industries for supplementary technical data before it could issue a type certification that would allow them to enter service. The whole issue came to a head on Oct 19/07, when Finnish Defense Minister Jyri Hakamies appointed former Finnair CEO Keijo Suila to lead a working group and assess the program, determine what went wrong, and recommend changes […]

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