Corrosion problems that resulted in the postponed delivery of the Royal Netherlands Navy’s NH Industries NH90 helicopter have cost the Dutch Department of Defence in excess of €100 million ($126 million), the country’s parliament has heard.
Defence minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert appeared before parliament to explain that the delays in delivery have resulted in an interim extension in service of its Airbus Helicopters AS532 Cougar fleet, which will cost €105.8 million for operations between 2015 and 2020.
This is in addition to the €1.2 billion that the acquisition of the 20 naval variants of the helicopter will cost.
To date, 13 NH90s have been delivered to the Netherlands, but it was announced earlier this year that Hennis-Plasschaert had suspended delivery of the last seven until the corrosion problem was countered.
The NHI consortium will have to pay the additional costs for the problems, and it is understood that the government expects to find a solution for the financial and technical issues later this year.
Thereafter, delivery of the helicopters can resume, with the last NH90 scheduled for delivery in 2016.
Reporting by Bob Fischer