Selection Decision: New Shipboard Helicopters for the Fleet
(Source: German Navy; issued July 31, 2019)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
After a long evaluation, the German Navy has finally confirmed that the NH90 Sea Lion will replace the Westland Lynx as its standard shipboard helicopter. Designated Multi-Role Frigate Helicopter, it will enter Navy service in 2025. (Airbus photo)
The NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter will be the successor of the Sea Lynx Mk 88A as the helicopter of the German Navy. This ensures a smooth transition and synergies in later operations.

The Federal Ministry of Defense has prepared this decision since the end of 2018 with the support of the Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and the Use of the Bundeswehr (BAAINBw). The representative of the Inspector General of the German Armed Forces, Vice Admiral Joachim Rühle, approved this proposal on 29 July.

The Navy is expected to receive from 2025 their new on-board helicopter. Its special designation is "multi-role frigate helicopter" (MRFH). It will be the German version of the NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NH90 NFH), and closest to the French variant NFH (NFRS) Caiman.

The NFH already flies for the Italian, Norwegian, Belgian and Dutch naval forces.

As the next important milestone in the MRFH procurement process, the Bundestag will deal with a corresponding bill in 2020.

On-board helicopters are an integral part of the "frigate system." Equipped with sonar, radar and torpedoes, they are the essential sensor and weapons carriers in naval warfare, below as well as above water. They can also flexibly support maritime operations through transport and rescue missions.

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