Software Upgrades In Works For NH90
A series of software-based upgrades is planned for the international fleet of NH90 land-based and naval helicopters.
The fleet, now 400-strong with the delivery of the first Sea Lion aircraft to the German Navy on Oct. 24, will benefit from a Step 2 avionics enhancement starting in 2022, according to Eberhard Scholl, Airbus’s vice president in charge of the NH90 program.
The upgrade will improve the helicopter’s performance-based navigation capability, allowing the aircraft to fly instrument flight rules in civil airspace, Scholl says. With Germany eager to introduce the capability, German Navy Sea Lions will be among the first aircraft to receive the Step 2 upgrade. Other nations will introduce it “depending on national priorities,” Scholl says.
Australia and New Zealand are the only two countries in Asia-Pacific to have NH90 in service.
This is an abbreviated version of an article that appeared in Aerospace Daily & Defense Report by Tony Osborne. Discussed in the full article are the possibilities of a Step 3 upgrade and the French plans for a special forces version of the aircraft. Login or subscribe to access the full article here.