Designed from the outset as a multi-role weapons system NH90 helicopters are offered in the Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) and naval (NFH) variants. Both configurations share a common basic helicopter in a modular design, with specialized mission equipment packages allowing for maximum flexibility in operations. The distinctive diamond shape of the all-composite airframe combines optimal aerodynamics with low detectability. Optimized man-machine interface significantly reduces pilot and crew workload. The helicopter uses a fly-by-wire flight control system, making it the first production helicopter featuring this advanced technology.
The German Army Air Corps is the first customer to have taken delivery of its first four NH90s TTH in late 2006 and early 2007. Three of them are being used for flight training at the Army Air Corps Flight Training Academy in Bückeburg, the fourth is being used as a maintenance trainer at the Army base in Fassberg. A total of eight TTH are scheduled to be in service with the German Armed Forces by the end of 2007. Sweden is the launch customer of the High Cabin Version (HCV) of the NH9O which features an increased usable cabin height by 24 centimeters, from 1.58 meters in the standard version to 1.82 meters. This variant allows operators and passengers to stand upright in the cabin. The increased cabin height is particularly important in SAR missions. Sweden had signed the contract for 25 NH9O in September 2001, covering 18 firm orders for 13 TTT I SAR helicopters and five ASW variants, plus seven options.
The TTT (Tactical Troop Transport) / SAR (Search and Rescue) and ASW (anti-submarine warfare) variants are derived from the TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter) version of the NH9O, and are equipped with a complete new Tactical Mission System (TMS) developed by SAAB in cooperation with NHlndustries. The NH90 program is managed by NAHEMO (NATO Helicopter Management Organisation) representing France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium, and by the industrial consortium NHIndustries consisting of Eurocopter (62.5%), AgustaWestland (32%) and Stork Fokker (5.5%)