Corrosion stops Netherlands NH90 deliveries

Corrosion stops Netherlands NH90 deliveries

30-Jun-2014 Source: Dutch military

[electronic translation] The corrosion and wear on the NH90 helicopter is larger than expected and Defense take the remaining 7 devices not currently on manufacturer NHIndustries (NHI). Minister Hennis-Plasschaert writes that today the House. Only when there are agreements with the factory about solutions, and it is clear who will pay the repairs, the new devices are allowed. About Hennis expected in autumn clarity.

The NH90 helicopter has been used successfully by the Netherlands during the anti-piracy mission off Somalia and in the Caribbean. Back in the Netherlands showed that a helicopter excessive rusting and wear. A second device too, but less. The National Aerospace Laboratory said in a study about 100 deficiencies; a combination of design and assembly errors and incorrect material choices. In a number of cases, the corrosion was created by combining the materials without isolating it. The corrosion caused by the rotating parts extra wear.France also has problems with the NH90, albeit to a lesser extent.

Defence explained last March, the manufacturer of the problems identified. This was done through the NATO Helicopter Management Agency (NAHEMO), on behalf of the partner contract with NHI closed. NHI immediately suggested a task force to investigate solutions. The manufacturer has now developed technical solutions for about 60% of the problems. NHI is expected to September in order to find solutions. Problems There is established a corrosion prevention by NHI. Defence carries out this program in cooperation with the manufacturer. This happens during the regular maintenance of the helicopters.

The delivery of the NH90 passes through the problems further delay. Minister Hennis takes into account six months. Because the NH90 fewer hours can make, is the shortage of helicopter capacity greater. Also take the regular maintenance periods of the helicopters longer than planned by additional modifications. Due to the delayed introduction of the NH90 helicopter has been flown less. For staff it means that there are fewer crews and technicians are fully trained. It is expected to take until 2019 before there is sufficient staff to support. Maritime operations fully

The larger capacity shortage has implications for the deployment. The performance of tasks, such as supporting maritime, amphibious and land operations, is therefore limited. The corrosion and wear will not affect the planned deployment in 2014. NH90 makes anti-piracy missions.From Curacao is a Cougar transport helicopter used to support Coast Guard.Also operates in the Caribbean a helicopter of the United States Coast Guard.

In 2015 and 2016 the NH90 flies for the anti-piracy mission. In the West Hennis wants the Cougar from Curacao bets. Or a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter anti-drug operations can support longer being investigated.

In 2017 Defence can fly during anti-piracy mission in the Caribbean and the NH-90. After that more research is needed. Besides the available Cougars are additional helicopters to deploy.These will then come from the pool of selling Cougar devices.

The financial implications are discussed. Together with NAHEMA and manufacturer Defense claims the extra cost of maintenance and modifications to the NHI NH90 at. A realistic estimate of these costs is not yet possible. Until 2018, the defense budget will cover the costs for the Cougar helicopters. The one-off costs of making re-deployment preparation of the Cougars and the loss of revenue from sales of these devices will also be accommodated within the defense budget.Hennis examines whether the costs of the fly longer with the Cougar on the NH90 manufacturer to recover.

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