The Italian Navy has reached an important milestone in increasing the capacity of its helicopter fleet through the completion of deliveries of all NH90s, together with the creation of a simulation center dedicated to the training of the crews of this model. The last of the 46 SH-90A planned, dedicated to anti-ship and anti-submarine operations, assembled at the Leonardo factory in Venezia Tessera, was assigned to the Maristaeli Luni base of the Navy and presented during an official ceremony in the presence of representatives of the Forza Armata, Leonardo and NHIndustries on 29 September. This latest helicopter also joins a fleet of ten MH-90As, optimized for tactical transport and special operations tasks, bringing the total fleet of NH56s in service with the major operator to 90. The Italian Navy's first NH90 was delivered in 2011. Since then, the entire fleet has accumulated over 35.000 flight hours across multiple operations in Italy and abroad.
The completion of the deliveries takes place in conjunction with the opening at the Maristaeli Luni base of a unique simulation center for the training of the entire crew, equipped with a dedicated flight simulator in MR 1 configuration ( therefore representative of the most recent avionics standards), completely developed by Leonardo and customized according to the needs of the Italian Navy. The new simulation environment allows SH-90 and MH-90 crews (both pilots and specialized personnel) to be trained with the highest level of fidelity and accuracy (with Level D standards, i.e. 1 hour of simulation equivalent to 1 real flight hour) to carry out missions in any type of operational scenario to the advantage of effectiveness, safety, efficiency and sustainability. The system has been designed to allow further future evolutions, such as the possibility of being connected to other simulators and in order to develop joint and multi-domain networked training sessions. The simulation center will also be able to provide training services to NH90 crews from other countries.
Gian Piero Cutillo, MD of Leonardo Helicopters, said: “The completion of deliveries of the NH90 and the creation of this one-of-a-kind simulation environment marks an important step forward and further strengthens our long-standing collaboration with the Navy Italian. I want to thank all Navy and industry personnel who made these achievements possible. We look forward to continuing this collaboration with the Italian Navy towards new important objectives, for a further improvement of capabilities aimed at meeting constantly evolving needs".
LEONARDO'S CONTRIBUTION TO THE NH90 PROGRAM
Leonardo is responsible for or significantly contributes to the design, production and/or integration of a wide range of critical helicopter systems and components. These include, among others, the tail section of the fuselage, the hydraulic system of the main transmission, advanced autopilot functions, the integration of the propulsion system, the NFH naval variant mission system (integrating sonar, radar, electro-optical, electronic self-protection and identification systems, video systems and management of weapon systems including air-to-surface missiles and torpedoes for countering naval and submarine threats). Leonardo also integrates some dedicated proprietary systems such as the Laser Obstacle Avoidance System (LOAM) anti-collision system, the LEOSS-T electro-optical system and, in some cases, gatling-type machine guns.
The largest European helicopter program, the NH90 represents the ideal choice for carrying out missions in a modern operational context thanks to a structure made entirely of composite materials, a large cabin, an excellent weight/power ratio and a wide range of equipment. It features a fly-by-wire flight control system to reduce pilot workload and optimize maneuverability. The NH90 is offered in two variants, one dedicated to naval operations (NFH) and another to land missions (TTH). To date, over 500 NH90 helicopters are in service around the world in both versions, operating in all weather conditions, both in land and maritime environments, and have accumulated over 380.000 flight hours.
NHIndustries is the largest helicopter Joint Venture in European history and is responsible for the design, production and support of the NH90, one of the leading models among the latest generation military helicopters. NHIndustries brings together the best of the European helicopter and defense industry, being made up of Airbus Helicopters (62,5%), Leonardo (32%) and GKN Fokker (5,5%). Each of the companies that make it up has a long tradition in the aerospace field and contributes its best skills and expertise to the creation of the final product.