Strategy Page reports that new NH-90 helicopters delivered to Australia are showing similar problems to the laundry list of issues the Germans reported when their NH-90s went into service:
The German Army conducted an evaluation of their new NH-90 helicopters, and were not pleased. Their conclusion was that, for combat missions, another model helicopter should be used whenever possible. A particular problem was the lack of ground clearance. The NH-90 can’t land on a piece of ground with any obstacles higher than 16 cm (6.4 inches). That makes many battlefield landing zones problematic. That assumes you can even get on a NH-90 and find a seat. The passenger seats cannot hold more than 110 kg (242 pounds). Combat equipment for German troops weighs 25 kg (55 pounds), meaning any soldier weighing more than 85 kg (187) has to take stuff off, put it on the floor, than quickly put it back on before exiting. Then there’s the floor, it’s not very sturdy, and combat troops using the helicopter for a short while, cause damage that takes the helicopter out of action for repairs. Worse, there is the rear ramp. It cannot support troops carrying all their equipment, making it useless for rapid exits of combat troops. There is not enough room in the passenger compartment for door gunners. There are no strap downs for larger weapons, like portable rocket launchers or anti-aircraft missiles. The passenger compartment also does not allow for carrying cargo and passengers at the same time. The winch is not sturdy enough for commandoes to perform fast roping operations. And so on. The Germans were not pleased with the NH-90.
I’ve never specced out a new helicopter design, but these complaints sound like issues that should have come up during the initial design review, not things that appear once you’ve taken delivery. It sounds like the military equivalent of buying a new car without taking a test drive or checking the specifications for how well the vehicle matched your actual requirements.
Design fail, manufacturing fail, or ordering fail?