The German Navy will get brand new anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters for its frigates. On November 20, the German Parliament, the Bundestag, cleared a €2.7 billion deal for 31 NH90 helicopters in the “Sea Tiger” variant.
The selection of the NH90 Sea Tiger maritime helicopter as the replacement for the Lynx ASW helicopters was announced in August 2019 but without providing much details.
The Sea Tiger will be the German version of the NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NH90 NFH) and closest to the French variant of the NFH (NFRS) known as Caiman. The NH90 NFH variant is already in service with the navies of Italy, Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands, and has been selected by Qatar.
The new helicopters will be equipped for various operational roles. In addition to the multi-role helicopters, the contracts also include accessories, spare parts and training materials for around 2.7 billion euros. Starting 2025, the Sea Tigers will be replacing the 22 Sea Lynx Mk88A helicopters in service since the 1980s.
According to the German Navy, the Sea Tigers will be an integral part of the “frigate system”. Equipped for example with sonar, radar and, torpedoes and guided missiles, they are essential sensors and weapons carriers in ASW and AsuW.
In addition, the helicopter can carry on transport tasks and be used for search-and-rescue missions, even if the NH90 “Sea Lion” remains the variant specifically optimized for these missions. Altogether 18 Sea Lion helicopters are on order, to replace the venerable Seaking.
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