More Disappointment with the NH90

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2nd Lieutenant
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
From Avweb:

"Availability issues are driving yet another operator of the NH90 helicopter to consider retiring it much earlier than planned. Recommendations drawn up by Swedish Supreme Commander Gen. Micael Byden for the future development of the armed forces propose removing the European rotorcraft."

Availability Issues = It stays broke to darn much.

Norway reached the same conclusion a while back.

Sweden is going to buy the UH-60M.

German miliary branches are not so fond of this helo either. Seesm to be a design with many structural flaws.
I guess this was supposed to be the European H-60. The American version of the EC145, the UH-72, has proved to be disappointing to the US Army as well; they had to add cooling systems because some of the components could not take the heat.

It's seems it is hard to beat a UH-1, OH-58, or OH-6.
The UH-72 is actually well liked by the US Army. Just in desert conditions it showed cooling problems that required modifications. They have 400+ in service and ordered some more of the upgraded B-model.
Yes, the poor NH-90 has been receiving quite a backlash of late, while the MH-60 Romeo is the beneficiary of this bad press. The list of nations that are dissatisfied with their European helicopters is growing. Australia is also retiring its Eurocopter Tigers early because of maintenance support issues. This seems to be a problem across the board, as well as delayed delivery and support, but the Germans have criticised the NH-90's structural design.

This is all quite apart from the RNZAF, which operates eight of the type and has reached a milestone last November as the first operator whose NH-90 airframe reached 2,000 flying hours.

Seems the floor and ramp were prone to damage because they could not support the weight of embarked soldiers. Seems baffling such a design flaw would make it into a troop transport helicopter.
Seems baffling such a design flaw would make it into a troop transport helicopter.

Yes, inexplicable, really. In 2010, the Bundeswehr compiled a list of shortcomings with its troop transport variant that included low ground clearance, weak rear ramp, weakly constructed interior, and limited space for fully kitted out soldiers. That year, Bundestag opposition party SPD defence spokesman Hans-Peter Bartels stated that, "the history of the NH-90 is a story full of sorrows" and that it was "too late, precarious in capabilities and at the same time urgent in necessity."
We had to retain a handful of Blackhawks for our SF's because there was nowhere to mount a door gun on our MNH-90s. Not so much a design flaw, but how did that pass the procurement stage??

That's a good question, because RNZAF NH-90s have door gun mounts and frequently carry them.
In WWII, a Panther or Tiger tank that reached 5000 miles badly needed an overhaul.

When the British got their new M3 Stuarts in North Africa they first were delighted to find that they needed no further assembly and were not wet inside from the sea voyage. Then they took them for a spin, did some rapid S-turns and were surprised to find that Nothing Fell Off.

Many of the M4 Shermans that hit the beach at Normandy had more than 5000 miles on them and were good for a great many more. Some countries just have different concepts of what constitutes acceptable durability.

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