The 4-axis autopilot also provides invaluable assistance for pilots in critical situations, allowing manoeuvres which were previously restricted or very difficult to execute. Furthermore, the NH90’s power plant expands the operational envelope beyond that of the Super Puma. It offers cruise speeds of 150 knots compared to the 120 knots of the Super Puma with similar consumption, which reduces the time needed for missions and expands its radius of action. This and other features, such as the electro-optical system, the double hoist, the TACAN, an improved electronic warfare system, the folding blades of both the tail and main rotor, the rear ramp and hatch and the integrated TopOwl helmet, ensure the NH90 can operate in any scenario required by the Spanish Air Force, as well as allowing interoperability with the Spanish Navy.
“The incorporation of the NH90 by the Spanish Air Force constitutes a major leap forward in terms of mission planning and execution. Its fully digital cockpit provides pilots with all the information they need, while the automatic mission planning system facilitates preparation of ground missions, easing pilot workloads by transferring information directly to the helicopter’s systems. The 48th Wing is therefore very keen to get started with the NH90. While we’re fully aware of the effort required to implement a new weapons system, we also know it will be more than worthwhile due to the enhancement of the 803rd Squadron’s operational capacity for the execution of its key roles (personnel recovery, special aerial operations and SAR/MEDEVAC missions),” summed up Colonel Gonzalo Martí.
1- BHELMA III: 3rd Manoeuvre Helicopter Battalion.
2- FAMET: the Spanish Army Airmobile Force.