The Marina Militare Italiana (MMI, Italian Navy) achieved a milestone with the completion of deliveries of its NH Industries SH-90A and MH-90A helicopters combined with a dedicated simulation centre for their crews.
On 29 September 2023, the 46th SH-90A with Matricola Militare MM81622 code 3-47, assembled at Leonardo’s facility in Venice-Tessera (VE), was presented during an official ceremony at MARISTAER (Stazione Aeromobili della Marina Militare) Grottaglie.
The helicopter joins a fleet of ten MH-90As optimised for tactical transport duties and special operations bringing the total fleet of NH90s to 56 in service with the Marina Militare. The first SH-90A was delivered in 2011. Since then, the whole fleet has logged more than 35.000 flight hours in multiple operations in Italy and abroad.
The MMI ordered 46 NH90-NFH (NATO Frigate Helicopter) with Italian designation SH-90A plus 10 NH90-TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter) known as MH-90A in the MITT (Maritime Italian navy Tactical Transport) transport configuration for amphibious and special forces support but retaining some of the NFH features such as Automatic Folding Blades, etc for shipborne operations.
With the completion of deliveries also a unique Full Crew Simulation Training Centre was opened at Grottaglie, featuring a dedicated Flight Simulator. The new simulation environment allows the SH-90A and MH-90A crews (including both pilots and specialised personnel) to be trained with the highest level of fidelity and accuracy (one simulation hour being equal to one real flight hour) to carry out missions in any kind of operational scenarios to the benefit of effectiveness, safety, efficiency, and sustainability.
Two units currently operate the MMI NH90s, 4° Gruppo Elicotteri at Maristaer (Marina Stazione Aeromobili) Grottaglie in southern Italy and 5° Gruppo Elicotteri at Maristaeli (Marina Stazione Elicotteri) Luni in northern Italy.
Credit photo: Marina Militare Italiana