Royal Air Force of Oman NH90 helicopter crashes at Musannah Air Base

An Royal Air Force of Oman NH90 multi-role military helicopter crashed into the ground while conducting a routine training mission at Musannah Air Base, Oman.

A source in the Ministry of Defense said that the aircraft’s navigator, Hilal bin Taleb bin Mohamed Al Hashmi, was killed in the crash while two pilots suffered minor injuries.

In July 2004, the Sultanate of Oman issued an order for a total of 20 NH90 TTHs for the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO). To cope with the extreme flight conditions of the Middle East, RAFO NH90s are equipped with enhanced power plants; the type is to replace the Agusta/Bell 205A and Agusta/Bell 212 used for tactical transport and search and rescue operations.

On 23 June 2010, the first two NH90 TTHs were delivered to the RAFO at Musana Air Base. By July 2012, ten NH90s had been delivered to the RAFO; in Omani service, the NH90 has established an endurance record, flying 700 nautical miles without refueling during a 5-hour 21 minute-long mission.

NHIndustries NH90

NHIndustries NH90 is a medium-sized, twin-engine, multi-role military helicopter. It was developed in response to NATO requirements for a battlefield helicopter which would also be capable of being operated in naval environments.

The NH90 was developed and is manufactured by NHIndustries, a collaborative company, which is owned by Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo(formerly AgustaWestland) and Fokker Aerostructures.

The first prototype conducted its maiden flight in December 1995; the type first entered operational service in 2007. As of January 2017, the NH90 has logged 127,000 flight hours in the armed forces of thirteen nations.

The NH90 has the distinction of being the first production helicopter to feature entirely fly by wire flight controls.

There are two main variants, the Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) for army use and the navalised NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH); each customer typically has various alterations and customisations made to their own NH90 fleets, such as different weapons, sensors and cabin arrangements, to meet their own specific requirements.

In early service, the NH90 has suffered several teething issues, which has in turn delayed active deployment of the type by some operators.

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