First Swedish HKP 14F handed over
By Swedish Defence Materiel Administration on Jan 27, 2016
The event marks a historic step for the Swedish Armed Forces, as a new anti-submarine warfare capacity is starting to take place within the organization following a decade on idle. The Defence Materiel Administration handed over the logbook to the Commander of the Swedish Air Force, Major General Mats Helgesson, who passed the logbook to the chief of the helicopter wing, Colonel Peder Söderström.
The helicopter is the very first naval helicopter out of nine on order. It was accepted by FMV and flown to Sweden from Airbus Helicopters’ factory in Donauwörth, Germany, in December 2015. It will now be used for ground training before it takes to the sky. A second HKP 14F is expected to arrive later in the spring, after which the final version of the mission-ready utility E models will be delivered.
In brief, the state-of-the-art fly-by-wire aircraft features underwater sonar, tactical radar, electro-optical sensors and high cabin for improved interior space. It is also equipped with two work stations, so called Mission Management Systems, in the cabin. The workstations are of the same type that are already on board Navy ships, which will facilitate job rotation and knowledge transfer between the Navy and the Air Force for years to come.
In total, Sweden has ordered 18 NH90s, locally designated HKP 14. Of these, 13 were originally intended to be equipped for inland operations and five in anti-submarine warfare configuration. Since then, FMV and the manufacturer NHIndustries have signed a contract to modify four already delivered NH90s (HKP 14 A/B) from inland operations to ASW configuration, bringing the total Swedish NH90 fleet to nine ASW (F models) and nine utility aircraft (E models). All D models have been delivered, but they will gradually be upgraded to E models.
The NH90s were ordered in 2001, with an expected delivery between 2005 and 2009. The assembly and acceptance ran late, but the first basic A/B versions were eventually handed over in April 2011. Seven mission-ready international-mission HKP 14Ds were delivered between 2013 and 2015. Following the historic hand-over of the first anti-submarine warfare helicopter today, the Armed Forces is now operating a total of 12 NH90 from its bases at F21 Air Force Base in Luleå and F17 in Ronneby.
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