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NH Industries has announced that the UH-90 helicopters of the Italian Army reached 3,000 flying hours in Afghanistan, during an aerial reconnaissance mission over the Herat area. The UH-90 multirole helicopters of Task Group “Fenice,” in service with Train Advise Assist Command – West (TAAC-W), have achieved this significant goal in only four years from their arrival in the Afghan operative theater.
Since 2012, the Italian UH-90 (the tactical transport version of NH-90 helicopter produced by NH Industries for the Italian Army and the first NH-90 version deployed in international military campaign) have performed more than 1,650 operative missions, operating in the west region of Afghanistan for tactical transport, reconnaissance, liaison and support to Special Forces.
Since 2014, in the frame of the Resolute Support Mission, the UH-90 helicopter has played a fundamental role in the air medevac (medical evacuation) tasks in support to TAAC-W personnel employed in the training and support to Afghan Armed Forces.
“NH Industries is particularly proud for the result achieved by the Italian Army, which demonstrates, in the most clear manner, the capability of NH-90 to operate in difficult and demanding environments with an high level of operational availability,” said Gianfranco Sottotetti, NH Industries general manager.
The Task Group “Fenice,” deployed to Afghanistan by Italy, operates the UH-90 and AH-129 “Mangusta” helicopters and it is composed by teams qualified for helicopter emergency medical tasks and specialists of 66th Airborne Infantry Regiment.
The NH-90 is the optimal choice for modern operations, thanks to its large full composite airframe, its excellent power to weight ratio and its wide range of role equipment. It features a redundant fly-by-wire flight control system for reduced pilot’s workload and enhanced flight characteristics. The NH-90 is proposed in two main variants, one dedicated to naval operations, the NH-90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH) and a tactical transport variant for land based operations.
As of Jan. 16, 2017, more than 300 helicopters have been delivered in naval and tactical transport variants, having exceeded 127,000 cumulative flying hours. They are operated by the Armed Forces of Italy, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Greece, Oman, Australia and New Zealand.
The twin-engine, medium-size NH90 helicopter program is managed by the NH Industries consortium, the company owned by Leonardo Helicopters (32 percent), Airbus Helicopters (62.5 percent), and Fokker Aerostructures (5.5 percent).