The NH 90 is a medium transport and utility helicopter developed and produced by NHIndustries, a company owned by Fokker, AgustaWestland and Airbus Helicopters.
The NH 90 first took flight in 1995 and was officially introduced in 2007. NHIndustries itself was only founded in 1992, three years prior to the NH 90 taking to the air.
The NH 90 was developed with a specific role and application in mind. NATO had asked for a battlefield helicopter that would be at home both in and out of naval environments.
The design of the NH 90 reflects this goal. It’s designed for flexibility. It’s small enough to fit in the hanger of a NATO frigate, yet it can be configured to transport as many as 20 troops. Changing up the configuration is also fast. So the BH 90 can quickly be rejigged to perform casualty evacuation with a 12-litter capacity. In addition it can do cargo duties using standard NATO pallets and combat search and rescue.
In order to allow for such flexibility, the NH 90 has a wide range of specialized add-on equipment exists that can tailor the helicopter for almost any role.
The cabin is wide and modular with a cockpit outfitted with high-end avionics and digital information systems. Using cutting-edge data fusion methods and integrated workstation technology the NH 90 is a smart team-player that gives the crew high levels of transparency and control.
While it is not a stealth helicopter in the vein of the cancelled Comanche project, the NH 90 has the smallest radar cross-section in its class. It also has a suite of intelligent self-protection technologies and multiple redundancies in order to survive combat hits. In fact, the NH 90 is the first helicopter to feature complete fly-by-wire technology.
As of 2013 a total of thirteen nations have placed orders for the NH 90.