The German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) has placed an order for 31 NH90 Sea Tiger naval multi-role helicopters for the German Navy.

The contract was signed by NH90 Helicopter Industries president Nathalie Tarnaud-Laude and NATO Helicopter Management Agency (NAHEMA) general manager Giorgio Gomma on 26 November.

The helicopters will be used to replace the Sea Lynx Mk88A fleet of the German Navy, which commenced operations in 1981.

Previously, Bundeswehr ordered 18 NH90 Sea Lion naval transport helicopters. Seven have been delivered so far.

Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even said: “With the Sea Lion and Sea Tiger, the German Navy will have state-of-the-art, high performance helicopters and can benefit from the advantages of a harmonised fleet.

“We look forward to working, together with our partners, to deliver the unique naval capabilities that the NH90 NFH has to offer as early as 2025.”

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The naval flight crews and technical staff have started to undergo NH90 training with the NH90 crews of the Army, once the Sea Lion was introduced.

In July 2018, the second prototype of the NH90 Sea Lion carried out its maiden flight in serial configuration for Bundeswehr.

The flight test marked the commencement of the naval aircraft’s qualification phase in collaboration with Bundeswehr’s official authorities.

In 2017, Airbus’ second prototype of the NH90 Sea Lion completed its maiden flight.