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Military Capabilities

DIMDEX 2018: Qatar orders NHIndustries NH90 helicopters

15 March 2018
Oman is the only country in the region that currently operates the NH90. Source: Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Defence

Key Points

  • Qatar has ordered 28 NH90 helicopters: 16 for tactical transport and 12 for maritime operations.
  • The deal also includes MBDA Marte ER missiles and 12 H125 training helicopters.

Qatar has ordered 28 NH90 helicopters for its air force under a contract worth more than EUR3 billion (USD3.7 billion) that was announced at the DIMDEX show held in Doha on 12-14 March.

The contract covers 16 NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopters (TTHs) for land operations and 12 NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopters (NFHs) for naval operations, and includes options for six more of each type. Deliveries are expected to begin before June 2022 and continue to 2025, according to Leonardo, which will act as prime contractor on behalf of the NHIndustries consortium that makes the helicopter.

The Qatari NH90 NFHs will not be fitted equipped for the anti-submarine warfare role, but will have the ENR maritime surveillance radar, a Safran electro-optical system, and Elettronica DETE-90 electronic intelligence/support measures system.

MBDA also signed a contract of undisclosed value to deliver Marte ER anti-ship missiles to equip the NFHs. Qatar has previously ordered the Marte ER for a coastal defence system that also uses longer-range Exocet missiles.

Airbus, which is part of the NHIndustries consortium, announced that the deal also covers 16 H125 light helicopters that will be delivered to the Qatar Armed Forces Air Academy for training purposes.

It also includes a comprehensive eight-year support and training package for aircrew and maintenance technicians that will be supported by the Italian Ministry of Defence and navy.

As prime contractor, Leonardo is responsible for managing the programme, the final assembly and delivery of the 12 NFH helicopters from its Venice-Tessera facility in northeast Italy, and the eight-year support and training package.

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