Despite its difficult beginnings, the European NH90 helicopter, designed and manufactured jointly by the Franco-German Airbus Helicopters, the Italian Leonardo and the Dutch Fokker, today stands out as a machine that is both reliable and efficient, both in the field of tactical transport, with the Tactical Transport Helicopter or TTH version commanded by 12 countries, as in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare with its Naval Frigate Helicopter or NFH version, commanded by 8 Marines, 7 of which belong to NATO. In 2015, the German Navy ordered 18 of these helos to replace its Westland Sea King naval transport helicopters, in a version designated NH90 Sea Lion without offensive means.
After more than a year of delay, the German Bundestag this week gave the green light to acquire 31 new aircrafts, designated NH 90 Sea Tiger, this time equipped for anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, to replace, from 2026, the 21 or so Westland Sea Lynx helicopters which still serve on the German frigates. Unlike the Sea Lion, the Sea Tiger will be able to have the full panoply devoted to its mission, namely a diving sonar and a combat system. It will also be equipped with a Leonardo LEOSS-T optronic system, and will be able to receive light torpedoes or light anti-ship missiles. However, the exact configuration of the helos ordered has not yet been announced, although the budget has been € 2,7 billion.
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