German Army Tigers Ready for Afghanistan
Finally it's done. After a demanding mission preparation, the first support Tiger helicopter will deploy later this year to Afghanistan, where they will protect German soldiers from the air.
The principal task of the Tigers belonging to Combat Helicopter Regiment 36 based in Fritzlar is aerial reconnaissance. In addition, the Tigers will provide fire support for troops on the ground.
On the one hand, this means that convoy protection and monitoring patrols will be improved, while, on the other hand, they will also act as armed escorts to other aircraft. It is planned to deploy a detachment of two Tigers, with another two machines as a technical reserve, by early December. The detachment should be fully operational commitment by the end of February 2013.
These are machines which have been brought to equipment standard ASGARD-F, which is optimized for Afghanistan. This particular configuration includes, among others, the ballistic protection against gunfire from the ground and sand filters for the engines.
NH90 follows in spring 2013
In parallel to the deployment of the Tiger support helicopters, the Army is also preparing its multipurpose NH90 helicopters. The core of NH90 mission in the Hindu Kush for the medical evacuation of wounded and injured troops (Forward Air Medical Evacuation).
A detachment from Transport Helicopter Regiment 10, based in Fassberg, will consist of a NH90 for rescue missions and another NH90 as armed accompanying aircraft will ensure the constant readiness mission. Two other NH90s will serve locally as a technical reserve.
The helicopters at a glance
The Tiger is a modern, two-seat combat and support helicopters operated by the Army Aviation Corps. Its airframe is built to about 80 percent of composite materials. It has two powerful turbine engines and high firepower. A total of 40 Tigers are currently planned for the Bundeswehr.
The NH90 multi-role helicopter NH90 was jointly developed on behalf of four countries: France, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany. It is a helicopter in the 10-tonne class and includes, starting from a base model, en entire product family. It has also introduced a number of new technologies, such as electronic flight control system (fly-by-wire), glass-screen cockpits, automatic flight controls, advanced composite materials as well as comprehensive and sophisticated mission equipment packages.
The NH90 can both carry heavy loads as well as specialized equipment, and can transport 20 soldiers. The Bundeswehr will procure 80 NH90s.
Source: BERLIN - German Ministry of Defence News - 21 November 2012
Photo: The German Army Tiger On Its Way to Afghanistan. Tiger Helicopter Le Luc Army Base. (Photo by patricksaviation.com)