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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Rotor & Wing: Rotorcraft Report: France Orders 12 NH90s, Takes Options on 56

MILITARY | UTILITY

France has ordered a dozen NH90 transports and taken options on 56 for its army.

France’s aircraft will be the Tactical Transport Helicopter, or land-based, variant of the NH90. The transaction is valued at €1.8 billion if all options are exercised. France would have to exercise the option for 22 NH90s this year and 34 in 2010. France’s aircraft are to be built at Eurocopter’s plant in Marignane, France.

"This order proves that the NH90 is perfectly adapted to the requirements of helicopter transport operations in the years to come," said Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling. "It also underscores the French army’s repeated confidence in the products and support provided by the Eurocopter group."

The 9-10-metric-ton-class NH90 is intended to replace tactical transport and anti-submarine warfare helicopter fleets.

The French defence procurement agency, the Délégation Générale pour l’Armement (DGA), placed the order for 68 of the helicopters through NAHEMA, the NATO Helicopter Management Agency. That agency represents France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Belgium.

The NH90 is produced by the NHIndustries consortium, of which Eurocopter has a 62.5-percent share, AgustaWestland a 32-percent share, and Stork Aerospace a 5.5-percent stake.

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