The first NH90 Sea Tiger lifted off on time for its inaugural flight, which took place at Airbus Helicopters in Donauworth, Germany, according to Airbus release on November 30. In 2020, the German Bundeswehr placed an order for thirty-one NH90 Sea Tiger multi-role frigate helicopters to be used for shipborne operations by the German Navy.
Airbus Helicopters is currently entering a certification phase, during which they will be concentrating on helicopter test flights and installing additional systems on the NH90 Sea Tiger. It is anticipated that deliveries will start at the end of the year 2025.
According to Stefan Thomé, managing director of Airbus Helicopters in Germany, the German Navy could further optimise its operations and maintenance if it can operate the NH90 Sea Lion and the Sea Tiger. Additionally, he mentioned that the NH90 Sea Lion, already in use by the Navy, recently demonstrated its capabilities by participating in the first big rescue operation in the North Sea.
The helicopters will replace the Mk88A Sea Lynx fleet, which has been in service since 1981 and shows signs of wear and tear. Currently, 18 NH90 Sea Lion naval transport helicopters are in use with the Bundeswehr. These helicopters were received on time between the years 2019 and 2023.
In the NH90 NFH (Naval Version), the Sea Tiger is the most recent iteration of the tried and tested NH90. It is a state-of-the-art anti-submarine warfare helicopter designed expressly to meet the requirements to fulfil the requirements of the German Navy. Two of the novelties introduced are a new Electro-Optical System and an upgraded Electronic Support Measures (ESM). The Sea Tiger is outfitted with sonobuoys, dipping sonar, and weaponry like torpedoes and missiles on the surface of its body. One of the jobs that the shipborne Sea Tigers are tasked with is engaging targets both above and below the surface, conducting surveillance and transporting supplies.
Over ninety thousand flight hours have been performed by 135 naval NH90 helicopters, which have been delivered to six different nations. These helicopters have been used for search and rescue, humanitarian, and military activities. More than 370,000 flight hours have been logged by more than 500 NH90 helicopters that are now in use across the globe.