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Qatar Emiri Air Force and Leonardo Celebrate NH90 Fleet’s 2,500 Flight Hours

Our Bureau - : Mar 10, 2024 - : 5:52 am

The Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) and Leonardo celebrated 2,500 flight hours of the NH90 helicopter fleet during the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX 2024) that concluded recently.

The QEAF Chief of Staff, Major General Jassim al-Mannai, and the President of Leonardo, Stefano Pontecorvo, took part in the celebrations. Also in attendance were representatives of some of the supplier companies involved in the programme, such as Domitilla Benigni, managing director and CEO of ELT Group, and Giovanni Soccodato, Executive Group Director Sales & Business Development & Managing Director of MBDA Italia.

With Leonardo as overall prime contractor, the Qatari NH90 programme includes the supply to the QEAF of 16 NH90 Tactical Transport Helicopters (TTHs) for land and 12 NH90 NFHs (Naval Frigate Helicopters) for maritime operations, the latter operating both from land and from the Al Zubarah-class corvettes that are built by Fincantieri and already in service with the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces (QENF) together with the new LPD, currently under final outfitting by the Italian shipbuilder in Italy.

The QEAF has received 18 helicopters out of the total of 28 rotary-wing platforms, including nine TTH helicopters built at the Marignane assembly line and nine NFH helicopters built at the Venice final assembly line. They have flown more than 2,500 hours with an average serviceability above 80%. Helicopter deliveries will last until 2025.

Leonardo also showcased its AW249 attack helicopter with a scale model at the show. It was the first time that the company had displayed its developmental “heavy” attack helicopter to the public. The type made its maiden flight in August 2022.

Being developed for the Italian Army, the multi-mission AW249 will perform tasks such as intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR), close air support, aerial escort, and air interdiction.


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