June 25, 2024
Aviation Qatar

QEAF Achieves 2,500 Flight Hours With NH90 Helicopters

Gulf State Operates 18 NH90s

The Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) and Leonardo have achieved a key milestone: The NH90 helicopter fleet in service with the QEAF has reached an impressive 2,500 flight hours.

This milestone—highlighted at the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference 2024—underscores the partnership between the QEAF and Leonardo, with the latter’s direct involvement in training and maintenance operations instrumental in this accomplishment.

With a remarkable average serviceability rate of over 80%, the QEAF stands out as a prominent NH90 end user. The force operates the Tactical Troop Transport (TTH) and Naval Frigate Helicopter (NFH) variants, demonstrating the NH90’s versatility in land and naval operations.

The NH90’s wide range of missions, including troop transport and utility, search and rescue, and surveillance, further highlights its adaptability to various operational needs.

28-Strong Fleet

Since the inception of deliveries in 2018, the QEAF has taken possession of 18 NH90 helicopters out of the 28 ordered. This includes nine TTH helicopters constructed at the Marignane (Airbus) assembly line and an equal number of NFH helicopters built at Leonardo’s final assembly line in Venice.

NH90 Helicopters
A QEAF Leonardo NH90 helicopter in Doha. Credit: Leonardo

As the lead contractor for the NH90 helicopters programme, Leonardo is responsible for the final assembly and delivery of the NFH helicopters from its production facility in Tessera, Venice.

In addition, Leonardo provides comprehensive on-site support to the QEAF, deploying a team of engineers, skilled technicians, logistics specialists, and instructors. This commitment ensures operational readiness and efficiency, underscoring Leonardo’s integral role in the success of the NH90 fleet for the QEAF.

Notably, Leonardo has overseen the establishment of a state-of-the-art training centre at the QEAF’s airbase in Doha, equipped with two Full Flight Simulators (FFS) representing naval and land versions.

Developed in collaboration with CAE, these simulators cater to the flight and mission training requirements of NH90 pilots. Since its inauguration in June 2023, the training centre has facilitated 1,700 hours of training in close cooperation with military instructors from the Italian Armed Forces.

Equipped with cutting-edge systems, NH90 helicopters excel in all military missions, whether deployed at sea or on land. Designed to operate in the most challenging environments, including sand, dust, and ice, it epitomises reliability and performance.

Its multi-role capability further enhances operational effectiveness across diverse military scenarios. It embodies a common platform for fleet rationalisation and interoperability, a key attribute in modern military operations.

Featured image: Senior QEAF and Leonardo officials pose with a QEAF NH90 helicopter in Doha. Credit: Leonardo

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, aerospace, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, automotive, and fashion verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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