The NH90 joins the German Navy
The Deutsche Marine will replace its Westland Mk 88A Sea Lynx with NHIndustries NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter.
On July 29, Germany approved the replacement of German Navy’s aging Westland Mk 88A Sea Lynx anti-submarine warfare / anti-surface warfare (ASW/ASuW) helicopters with NHIndustries NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH).
The German Navy sought a solution that would ensure “a smooth transition and synergies in later operations.” The NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NH90 NFH) is already flying for the Italian, Norwegian and Belgian naval forces. The German version is very close to the French variant NFH (NFRS) Caiman. It is designated as Multi-Role Frigate Helicopter (MRFH). The rotorcraft manufactured by NHIndustries — a European joint venture formed by Airbus Helicopters, AgustaWestland and Fokker Technologies — is designed to meet NATO's needs. It can be operated in naval combat operation as well as in maritime transport and rescue missions.
The German Federal Ministry of Defense has prepared this decision since the end of 2018 with the support of the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (BAAINBw). Even though no prospective contract value or numbers were given, the Bundeswehr specified the new helicopters are to be delivered from 2025.
In parallel, the German Navy expects delivery of the first NH90 Sea Lion helicopters, scheduled for the end of 2019. The rotorcraft which production commenced in 2015, are designed to replace Germany's Westland Sea Kings. Eight-teen helicopters of the type are on order.