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ILA 2022: German Navy receives first ‘Step 2' Sea Lion helicopter

The German Navy is to receive 18 Sea Lions in all, with the first of the upgraded ‘Step 2'-standard helicopters having recently been delivered. (Rohde-Schwarz)

The German Navy has received into service the first Sea Lion variant of the NHIndustries NH90 helicopter to be upgraded to the latest Step 2 standard, the chief of the service's aviation wing announced ahead of the ILA Berlin Air Show.

Kommandeur Marineflieger Sea Captain Thorsten Bobzin, said on 15 June that the 13th of 18 Sea Lion helicopters currently under contract was the first to be delivered at the Step 2 configuration, and that further deliveries and retrofits to bring the remainder of the fleet to the same standard should now proceed at pace.

“Finally the time has come. Today the Deutsche Marine received the 13th Sea Lion with the [service number] 79+64. This is the first of the so-called Step 2, with some important software updates. Now the further growth on all 18 Sea Lions should take place quickly,” the commander announced.

Launched at the ILA Berlin Air Show in May 2014, the Sea Lion is largely similar in scope to the baseline NFH-variant helicopter but features some German-specific equipment such as radios and other communications systems. The Sea Lions are intended to replace the navy's Westland Mk 41 Sea Kings in the search-and-rescue, maritime surveillance, vertical replenishment, and transport roles.

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