On January 26, 2023, the Bundeswehr received the last of a total of 18 NH multi-purpose helicopters in Donauwörth NATO helicopter-90 NTH Naval transport helicopters Sea Lion taken over. The 2015 by the Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the Bundeswehr ( BAAINBw Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the German Armed Forces) commissioned series delivery to the Navy is completed on time and within budget. In the background there is always an in-depth quality assurance.
The Sea Lion is the NATO Helicopter 90, NH for shortNATO helicopter-90, in the usage variant Naval Transport Helicopter ( NTHNaval transport helicopters). Delivered since 2018, it replaces the Mk41 Sea King helicopter that has been in service for almost 50 years . After handing over the last NHNATO helicopter-90 NTHNaval transport helicoptersthe new, state-of-the-art helicopter is expected to take over tasks in the SAR search and rescue service from mid-2023Search and Rescueinitially take over in parallel operation. In addition, the Sea Lion, like the Sea King up to now, serves in its main military task for the transport of material or people. In addition, with its far-reaching sensors, it can also be used for reconnaissance and thus make an important contribution to situational awareness.
“I am very satisfied that with the delivery of the 18th Sea Lion, the basis has now been created to successively exploit the great potential of this new weapon system,” assesses the project manager at BAAINBwFederal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the German Armed Forces, Director at BAAINBwFederal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the German Armed ForcesAxel H., the completion of series delivery.
“We are thus completing another major step in the modernization of naval aviation,” said the commander of the naval aviation command , Captain Broder Nielsen, about the handover date. “Now all the helicopters are there and now it’s a matter of accelerating the training and developing the most modern, flexible maintenance concept possible with the machines supplied to us in order to quickly establish full operational readiness.”
Multinational helicopter project with national specifics
The NHNATO helicopter-90 is based on the harmonized requirements of Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, which founded the NATO Helicopter Management Agency ( NAHEMA) in 1992. This development was supplemented by national adaptations that depended on the specific usage requirements of the respective states.
The basis for the procurement of the NHNATO helicopter-90 product family is a development and procurement contract between NAHEMA and the industrial consortium NHNATO helicopter- Industries from 2000. Later, the Federal Ministry of Defense and the manufacturer Airbus Helicopters Germany agreed, also 18 NHNATO helicopter-90 NTHNaval transport helicoptersto obtain for the Navy.
The project organization for the weapon system NHNATO helicopter-90 is with the group L8 of the air department in the BAAINBw Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the German Armed Forces resident. It is therefore responsible for the development, procurement and use activities of all NHNATO helicopter-90 of the Bundeswehr – both the army and the navy – responsible.
To address potential challenges in introducing the Sea Lion , the BAAINBwFederal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the German Armed Forcesand the Navy in Nordholz worked very closely together right from the start. This coordination between the office and users, as well as efficiently adapted processes, have made it possible to master many challenges quickly and consistently.