Vice Admiral Andreas Krause announced via a tweet (see below) that the declaration of acceptance for the NH90 Sea Lion was signed on May 27.
He announced that flight operations are set to start on June 25. According to Captain Thorsten Bobzin, the commander of the Marinefliegerkommando (German naval aviation), early issues of the Sea Lion have been largely eradicated. The first crews, six members of Naval Air Wing 5, completed their last flight on their previous helicopter type, the venerable Seaking, on 27 May.
About German Navy’s NH90 NTH Sea Lion
Airbus Helicopters Deutschland delivered the first NH-90 Sea Lion to the German Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Utilisation of the German Armed Forces (BAAINBw) on October 24, 2019. Due to insufficient and incomplete technical documentation, the German Navy did not start initial flight operations. The German MoD announced that significant irregularities prevented safe action during operation of the helicopter on November 27, 2019.
In total, 18 Sea Lions have been ordered for the German Navy, with deliveries expected to be completed in 2022. The selection of the Sea Lion as the successor to the Sea King was made in March 2013 and the corresponding contract was signed in June 2015.
When deployed, NH90 Sea Lions will take on a wide range of roles including search and rescue (SAR), maritime reconnaissance, special forces as well as personnel and material transportation missions. In addition to its land-based use, the Sea Lion will also operate on Type 702 (Berlin class) combat support ships.
Besides the Sea Lion, the German Navy has also recently opted for the naval version of the NH90 to succeed its 22 Sea Lynx Mk 88A on-board helicopters that have been in service since 1981.