The NHIndustries NH 90 is the first true collaborative effort by Europe's leading helicopter companies in which Eurocopter (Franco-German), Agusta (Italy) and Fokker (Netherlands) participate with Eurocopter having the leading share. The NH 90 is an advanced medium transport and utility helicopter built in two major versions optimized for tactical transport and as NATO's future frigate helicopter. As a transport it can carry up to 20 troops as well as conventional cargo and can also perform search and rescue (SAR), casevac, and be used in support of special operations and electronic warfare missions. The navalized frigate helicopter is to be used for anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface unit warfare operating from naval ships and with full day and night all-weather capability. Besides the four main participating countries, the NH 90 has recently seen orders by the Scandination countries, Australia, Belgium, Greece, New Zealand, Oman, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and Spain.
First flight of the NH 90 prototype took place on 18 December 1995 although production delays made the first units available only until late 2006 (to the German Army). The two main versions are the NH 90 TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter) for transport duties (some optionally equipped with a rear-loading ramp for light vehicles) and the NH 90 NFH (Nato Frigate Helicopter) optimized for naval ASW and ASUW missions (both autonomously and in conjunction with its parent ship) with sensors including a magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) and FLIR as well as the ability to carry anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons.