Two new multi-role NH90 helicopters, which will be used to conduct military, disaster relief, and search and rescue operations, arrived at Base Ohakea on 1 October 2012. The Air Force has purchased eight NH90 helicopters to replace the Iroquois helicopters that have been in service for 45 years. (photo : RNZAF)
The next two NH90 helicopters arrived at Base Ohakea in the Manawatu this week.
Once introduced into service the NH90 helicopters will vastly improve the Air Force’s capability to conduct military, disaster relief, search and rescue and other helicopter operations.
“The Air Force is undergoing a complete renewal of its operational fleet, with the introduction of new and upgraded aircraft, supported by new advanced training devices. The NH90 helicopters are a very important part of our upgrade programme,” says Deputy Chief of Air Force, Air Commodore Kevin Short.
“Once fully operational, the NH90 will be providing support to the Royal New Zealand Navy, New Zealand Army and other Government agencies.”
The NH90 helicopters are manufactured by European company NATO Helicopter Industries (NHI). In total, eight NH-90 helicopters have been purchased. The first two helicopters arrived in
in December 2011, and
the remaining four helicopters will be progressively delivered by the end of
2013. New Zealand
The Deputy Secretary of Defence Des Ashton acknowledged NHI’s efforts in delivering the second tranche of helicopters.
AIRCDRE Short says all the NH90s will undergo a rigorous introduction into service programme that will ensure their capabilities are maximised as the fleet is progressively made available for military operations. Air and ground crews were also undertaking extensive training programmes.
The NH90s will eventually replace the Iroquois helicopters which have been in use for more than 40 years.