The report from AvWeek
points out that a few frames are being tried out in Afghanistan and that production is (finally?) ramping up, but:
But the timing of the NH90's introduction could not have been more adverse. The many European governments that rushed to order the aircraft during the last decade were enjoying the wealth that the euro had bought them, but now are struggling to bring their debt under control as a result of the economic crisis. Spain, whose government invested in a new facility to build both the NH90 and Tiger, wants to reduce its NH90 buy to 22 from 45, offsetting the reduced number of aircraft through a logistics deal.
Germany has settled on a deal to reduce the number it is buying to 100 from 122, but this also includes 18 naval helicopters, which were not part of the original deal. Portugal wants to pull out of the program altogether, and the consortium is now negotiating what Lisbon needs to pay in order to exit.
I guess that points out the truth of the old saying "You should make hay while the sun is shining", no?
Such cutbacks are tough, but it's not all doom and gloom:
Maudet is confident of further export success for the NH90. Despite issues with delays of its aircraft for the country's coast guard, Maudet claims that Norway is satisfied with the model and could look to the type to replace its search and rescue Westland-built Sea Kings, as part of the Norwegian All-Weather Search and Rescue Helicopter program. NH Industries submitted its bid late last year and a decision is due in 2014. Another opportunity lies in Qatar, where the Amiri Air Force is looking for tactical transport and naval helicopters. According to Maudet, Qatari pilots conducted a thorough evaluation of the aircraft. India is also a potential customer, but the type faces stiff competition from Sikorsky's UH-60 Black Hawk and MH-60R Seahawk
Anyone else have any recent reports on NH90?