Aerospace Forum Sweden 2012: Swedish NH90 fleet building flight hours
Four NH90s are currently in service with 214 Sqn of the Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing and are currently based at Malmen AB near Linkoping.
The four aircraft are currently an a interim Tactical Troop Transport configuration allowing the crews to carry out basic flying training, operating from austere locations and conducting two-ship flying operations. Night flying is not currently undertaken but is due to begin later this year.
The NH90 community currently only has a small number of aircrews, several personnel having migrated over to the Black Hawk as that type is prepared for operations in Afghanistan, due to begin in March 2013.
'It's a great helicopter and it has a great deal of potential,' said Maj Jonas Wiborg, officer commanding 214 Sqn.
'We realised with the delays we would not be ready for Afghanistan, so now we are working to be ready for possible deployments by 2016. It is more the future – in five years we will realise the NH90 is capable of a wider spectrum of missions.'
Wiborg revealed that the squadron had flown around 270 hours in 2011 and has so far flown more than 200 hours in the first half of 2012.
Sweden has ordered 18 NH90s in the high cabin configuration. According to NHIndustries, the next batch of Swedish NH90s will be delivered in the TTT International Mission (IM) configuration which adds a rescue hoist, an SX-16 search light and the Saab-built Tactical Mission Computer operator station in the rear of the aircraft.
The first of these aircraft is expected in September or October this year.
Swedish NH90s have been built in Finland by Patria, and by Eurocopter in France and in Germany. Seven aircraft have been produced for air arm. Apart from the four in service with 214 Sqn, two are in storage in an interim configuration while the first-built aircraft is used by Eurocopter to test the naval warfare configuration. The Swedish government has ordered five of the 18 aircraft to be configured for land-based naval warfare operations.
As more aircraft are delivered, the NH90 fleet will be split between two bases at Ronneby in the south of the country and at Lulea-Kallax in the north. The Ronneby facility will be home to the aircraft in the naval configuration.
Source: By Tony Osborne in Linkoping, Sweden / Shephard News Team - 02 June 2012
Photo: Sweden's NH90 crews are rapidly building up their flight hours despite the delays that have afflicted the programme. (Photo by shephardmedia.com)
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