The first NH-90 Sea Lion helicopter was delivered by Airbus to the German Navy in October this year but it will have to wait before joining the fleet.
The navy will temporarily halt training flights due to what the defense ministry described as “significant errors” related to the helicopters’ insufficient and incomplete technical documentation.
One of the issues pinpointed by the defense ministry were 150 irregularities in need of urgent improvement in the interactive electronic technical manual.
The ministry noted, however, that the delay would not adversely impact plans for achieving the helicopters’ full operational readiness which is planned for 2023.
Airbus said that it was aware of the issues and was working with relevant partners on resolving them in a timely manner.
The NH90 is replacing the ageing ‘Sea King’ which has been in service with the German Navy for 40 years. In addition to performing land-based SAR missions, the NH90 Sea Lion will also operate on the navy’s Type 702 (Berlin class) combat support ships. A total of 18 units will be acquired for the service.