Leonardo and Airbus secure €3 billion NHI order with Qatar


First flight of the NH-90 - The NH-90 takes off on it's first flight

Leonardo and Airbus have both played a role in securing a €3 billion order with the Qatar defence ministry for 28 NHI NH90 helicopters.

The two manufacturers own a majority stake in NHI Helicopters, along with Fokker. Leonardo owns 32% of the company and Airbus owns 62.5%.

The order was announced at DIMDEX, a Qatar military hardware conference in Doha. The order will see 16 NH90 TTHs and 12 NH90 NFHs placed on land and naval operations respectively.

Leonardo is the main contractor on the deal and will assemble and deliver the 12 NH90 NFHs at its Venice , Tessera facility in Northern Italy. It will also provide an eight-year service and training contract for the defence ministry’s technicians and crew.

Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo CEO, said: “We are proud to have signed this contract that expands and continues Leonardo’s strong and long-term partnership with Qatar, to which we are delivering a wide range of the most-advanced technology and customized solutions spanning the military and security domains.

“This contract award confirms Leonardo as a reliable partner to Qatar and marks an outstanding achievement and a new and further milestone for one of the key sectors of Leonardo. We are all strongly committed to strengthen our business approach according to our 2018-2022 Industrial Plan.”

Airbus will be responsible for the assembly and delivery of the 16 NH90 TTHs. The aircraft will start delivery before June 2022 and will move on through until 2025.

This order follows Leonardo’s dropping of its legal battle with the US Army. Leonardo accused the military of not hosting a full-and-open competition when choosing its ‘institutional training model’. The Airbus UH-27 was chosen but other helicopters, including Leonardo’s AW109, were supposedly considered in the process.