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Germany considering joint Dutch-German training helicopter fleet

The H145M is a strong contender should the Bundeswehr opt to acquire additional light utility helicopters for the International Helicopter Training Centre. (Airbus Helicopters)

The German Army has expressed interest in a new light helicopter to provide a common platform for the initial flight training of Dutch and German student helicopter pilots. Speaking at the International Military Helicopter conference in London on 16 February, Brigadier General Andreas Pfeifer, deputy commander of the Rapid Forces Division said that the army would be interested in a new platform to improve interoperability for basic flight training and introductory weapons training for new military pilots from both countries.

The Bundeswehr runs basic flight training at the German International Helicopter Training Centre (IHAZ) at Bückeburg Air Base, and in 2014 the Netherlands started to send future crews for its NH90 NFH and AS532U2 Cougar helicopters. The training fleet is formed of leased Bell 206B JetRanger III and Bundeswehr-owned and leased EC135 helicopters, both of which are likely to be replaced by the winning platform from the German triservice light utility helicopter acquisition programme, which is ongoing.

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