Airbus Helicopters as prime contractor will work together with Dresden-based Elbe Flugzeugwerke to maintain the German Armed Forces’ (Bundeswehr’s) NH90 fleet. Airbus and the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) signed the corresponding 10-year support contract on Wednesday.
The services to be rendered at a package price under this contract comprise scheduled maintenance, 1,200 flight-hour inspections as well as on-demand repairs. Work will begin at Airbus Helicopters in Donauwörth during the first quarter of 2020 and at Elbe Flugzeugwerke in Dresden in early 2021.
Dresden as the subcontractor will be the Bundeswehr’s second major industrial centre alongside Donauwörth; the addition of this facility will greatly expand the Bundeswehr’s capacities for maintaining its helicopters. The German Army currently has 74 NH90 TTH helicopters; all 82 will have been delivered by 2021. The German Navy will start to receive its 18 helicopters in October 2019 – the maintenance of these is also covered by the contract. The German Army’s NH90s will be used as tactical transport helicopters (TTH), while the German Navy’s NH90s will be used as naval transport helicopters (NTH) – this helicopter type will also be known as the Sea Lion.
“Together, Airbus Helicopters and Elbe Flugzeugwerke are excellently poised to handle the growing influx of NH90 helicopters,” said Wolfgang Schoder, Executive Vice-President Light Helicopters and Governmental Programs at Airbus Helicopters. “Elbe Flugzeugwerke is an experienced and internationally renowned maintenance and conversion specialist that we will be incorporating into the NH90 program for the long term.”
Andreas Sperl, President & CEO of Elbe Flugzeugwerke, said: “Based on our many years of experience in aircraft maintenance, and with the support of Airbus Helicopters we will be a reliable partner when it comes to maintaining the Bundeswehr’s NH90 helicopters. This will open up a new, very challenging and promising market for us.”
The service package offered by the two partners is based on a new concept that has already been successfully implemented with other NH90 user nations and has led to a significant reduction in turnaround times.