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NAHEMA, NHI agree latest NH90 update

The NH90 final assembly and retrofit line at Airbus Helicopters' Marignane facility in southern France. The NAHEMA and the NHI consortium have now agreed the SR3 retrofit to run from 2026 to 2027. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

The NATO Helicopter Management Agency (NAHEMA) and NHIndustries (NHI) have agreed the latest update for the NH90 helicopter.

The agreement was announced on 13 June and signed in Aix-en-Provence, France, between the primary partner countries of Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, and covered the Software Release (SR) 3 update for the helicopter. It is valued in excess of EUR600 million (USD648 million).

β€œSR3 is an important configuration update for the in-service NH90 helicopters, achieved as a collaboration between the NHI partner companies Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo, Fokker, and major European suppliers,” the NHI announcement said.

As noted by NHI, SR3 features equipment such as the first Link 22 datalink on a helicopter, the Leonardo long-range electro-optical surveillance system (LEOSS-T), the OTS-90 Mk II sonar, civil global navigation satellite system (GNSS)/flight management system (FMS), and additional weapons integration.

β€œMore specifically, focusing on the NH90 NFH [NATO Frigate Helicopter] mission capabilities, datalink 22 will ensure secure line-of-sight (LOS) and beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) communications without the use of satellites … In addition, the introduction of the latest high-definition technologies will further enhance the maritime mission capability, particularly for long-range surveillance, target identification, acquisition, tracking, and designation,” NHI said.

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