The Royal Netherlands Navy will have to wait until the second quarter of 2008 to receive the first of 20 NH Industries-built NH90 helicopters, with an earlier qualification delay exacerbated by recent tests, which showed the integration of the aircraft's radar with its navigation system needs more time for completion.

The NH90 will replace the navy's Westland Lynx fleet in fulfilling anti-submarine warfare duties, and provide tactical transport services to the service and the Dutch air force. The Netherlands' order for the type comprises 12 maritime and eight transport examples, with a further two options also held for the latter model.

The Netherlands is also seeking a new full mission trainer for its NH90s. Negotiations are under way with an Italian consortium, with the system likely to become operational no sooner than 2010.

Source: Flight International