Egypt apparently acquiring NH90 for FREMM frigate


Egypt is reportedly seeking to acquire a single NH90 multimission helicopter for its new FREMM frigate, which was transferred by DCNS to the Egyptian flag on 23 June.

Navy Recognition, quoting several Middle Eastern news outlets, reports that Egypt is about to procure an NH90 for the multi-mission frigate Tahya Misr (originally the French Navy vessel Normandie). Apparently follow-on orders are expected since Egypt has four Gowind corvettes on order from DCNS.

The helicopter Egypt would get would be the NH90 NFH (NATO Frigate Helicopter), a type already in service with the French Navy and which has flown off the Normandie when it was still scheduled to enter French service.

NH Industries said the NFH features a redundant fly by wire system, a full composite corrosion free airframe, two powerful engines, a fully integrated weapon system as well as a wide cabin that is easily reconfigurable. Its main missions include Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW), Search and Rescue, maritime surveillance and control, transport, vertical replenishment, casualty evacuation (casevac), special operations including counter terrorism and anti-piracy.

French Navy NH90s are equipped with the Flash Sonics sonar system from Thales Underwater Systems, which combines the Flash active dipping sonar with the TMS 2000 sonobuoy processing system. Other French equipment includes ESM sensor, chaff and flare system, electro optic suite, Thales multimode 360 degree naval radar and MU90 torpedoes.

The Egyptian Navy presently flies ten SH-2G(E) Super Seasprite helicopters.

So far 241 NH90s (NFHs and Tactical Transport Helicopters) have been delivered and these have accumulated 83 000 flight hours. Customers include Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands. Qatar has signed a letter of intent for 12 NH90 TTHs and 10 NH90 NFHs.

The Tahya Misr is currently being used to work up the crew, and is to be commissioned in late July. It will arrive in Egypt in time for the celebration marking the expansion of the Suez Canal on 6 August. The frigate has an aft helicopter hangar and deck able to accommodate medium helicopters like the NH90, EH101 and Cougar.