GPATE Common Support Service

NH90 GPATE General Purpose Automatic Test Equipment Common Support Contract


NAHEMA – NATO Helicopter Management Agency


Leonardo, Fokker

Project Description

2008 was the award of the NH90 GPATE development and production contract, where SPHEREA France, SPHEREA Germany and FOKKER Services acted as subcontractors under the lead of Selex ES (today LEONARDO). Eight NH90 GPATEs were delivered to the following countries: two for Germany, one for Finland, one for the Netherlands, three for Italy and one for Norway as well as four upgrade kits for the French SESAR family. A reference test bench was installed in the SPHEREA site Ulm, Germany.

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Beside the bench we were supporting the military maintenance shops with thirty-four different Test Program Sets.

In this contract NAHEMA represented the participating nations and NHIndustries with Airbus Helicopters and Leonardo Helicopters managed the industrial partners.

In 2015 SPHEREA entered in the common support phase of the GPATE, which allows to enhance and improve the test bench. By supporting different end customers, synergies can be used and an exchange through all operators is ensured. The main tasks within this support are

  • basic maintenance as repairs, replenishment and calibration
  • increase the availability, reliability and maintainability of the test benches to maximum
  • perform obsolescence treatment to ensure a long lifetime and maintainability
  • design, development and production to support new LRUs and implementation of improvements
  • configuration management and documentation including updates
  • off/on-site support, end user training and strong collaboration to the customer
  • other support services or products


The direct contractual relationship with the international customer agency, NAHEMA, is a novelty for SPHEREA Group. The GPATE industry is now led by SPHEREA Germany as prime contractor with sub-contracts to SPHEREA, LEONARDO and FOKKER Services.

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General Purpose Automatic Test Equipment for NH90 Avionic Equipment