Indian Ocean

On the occasion of the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX) 2024, the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) and Leonardo celebrated the 2,500 flight hours of the NH90 helicopter fleet. This milestone has been made possible through strategic cooperation, which has been aided by Leonardo’s direct involvement in providing training and supporting maintenance operations.

With an average serviceability above 80%, the Qatar Emiri Air Force is one of the NH90 end users that operates both the TTH (Tactical Troop Transport) and the NFH (Naval Frigate Helicopter) versions of the helicopter for land and naval operations. The aircraft’s main missions include troop transport and utility, search and rescue, and surveillance.

Since the first delivery in 2018, as of today the QEAF has received 18 helicopters, out of the total of 28 helicopters ordered, nine TTH helicopters built at the assembly line of Marignane (Airbus) and nine NFH helicopters built at the final assembly line of Venice (Leonardo).

Leonardo is the prime contractor for the overall programme and is also responsible for the final assembly and delivery of the NH90 NFH helicopters from its production facility in Tessera, Venice. Leonardo also provides on- site support to the Air Force, including engineers, skilled technicians, logistics specialists, and instructors.

The company has also built the Training Centre located at Doha Air Base, which includes two Full Flight Simulators (FFS) in naval and land versions, developed in collaboration with CAE, as well a variety of other systems covering the flight and the mission training requirements.

Since entry to service in June 2023 close to 1,700 hours have been flown on the Full Flight Simulators in cooperation with the military instructors of the Italian Armed Forces.

The NH90 is equipped with the latest generation systems. It achieves the highest possible performance in all military missions whether at sea or on land. The NH90 has been designed and is proven to operate in the most demanding conditions, including sand, dust, and ice. The NH90 has a multi-role capability, enhancing its operational effectiveness in all military environments sharing a common platform designed for fleet rationalization and interoperability.


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  1. Not a bad achievement for an inferior design and death trap Helicopter. Astounding what can be achieved with proper Maintenance and Officers not in the pocket of a rival company.

    • Are you referring to the Army Taipans? If so, you should try and understand the causes of the problem. Hint: it’s not the helicopters, it’s the system that is meant to support them.

      • I’m actually not, I think 18 helicopters should fly a lot more, especially for how much they cost.
        But seeing as you are suggesting something about Army Taipans, your position on NH-90 is not balanced.

          • Kym, he’s not commenting on Taipan. He’s noting the obvious fact that 27 (actually 50) hours per aircraft per year for the Qatari fleet is actually pretty unimpressive.

            80% serviceability is not the dunk you want it to be. Each Qatari aircraft flies on average for 57 minutes a week.

    • Hi Max,

      The actual figure is probably 50 hrs a year per acft, assuming the deliveries have been linear since 2018.

      Still pretty dismal though- your point is well made.

      I think Kym wants this to be a dunk on the ADF but 80% serviceability is really not that impressive when you fly 57 minutes a week on each aircraft.

        • It really doesn’t matter why they are flying so few hours. The point, which directly rebuts yours, is that it is not hard to deliver 80% serviceability when over 90% of your aircraft are in the hangar over 90% of the time.

  2. 2500 hours since 2018 is less than 450 hrs a year for the fleet.

    Let’s assume linear growth in aircraft numbers, from 0 in 2018 to 18 in 2024. We can say the fleet size was on average 9 per year.

    On average, for the last 6 years each aircraft flew 50 hrs a year.

    80% serviceability is not much of an achievement when you’re only flying each aircraft for 57 minutes a week.


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