The Spanish defence ministry signed a €1.2 billion ($1.6 billion) contract on 29 December to complete its planned acquisition of 45 NH Industries NH90 transport helicopters, originally selected in May 2005.

Tactical transport deliveries to the army will start in 2010, with forward fuselage manufacture and final assembly to take place at EADS subsidiary Eurocopter España's new Albacete facility. The navy and air force will also later receive NH90s under the deal, although an industry source confirms the final service split has yet to be defined, along with an engine selection.

Madrid's wider €1.4 billion package also includes 34 Honeywell T55-L-714 engines for its army's Boeing CH-47D Chinook transport helicopters, and radar upgrades to four of its navy Boeing EAV-8B Harrier IIs.

Source: Flight International