New Zealand gets its first NH90 helicopters.
March 12: The New Zealand Defence Minister, Dr Jonathan Coleman, officially welcomed the first of the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s new medium utility NH90 helicopters at an event in Wellington on March 9.
The NH90 helicopters will be the most advanced and capable helicopter the Air Force has ever had,” he said. “They will considerably improve the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) ability to conduct military, counter-terrorism, disaster relief, search and rescue, and other operations. This milestone illustrates that we are delivering on the plan laid out in the Defence White Paper. Like other defence forces around the world we are reprioritising our resources to provide up-to-date capability for a 21st century Defence Force. The NH90 is an outstanding example of the modernisation process so far.”
In total eight NH90s have been purchased for operations, with a ninth to be used for parts. The first two of these new helicopters is now ready for training. They will eventually replace the fleet of 12 Iroquois, which have been in use for more than 40 years.