Royal Netherlands Navy tests NH90 helicopter and Holland class OPV in bad weather

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Naval Forces News - Netherlands
 
 
 
Royal Netherlands Navy tests NH90 helicopter and Holland class OPV in bad weather
 
Royal Netherlands Navy crews of the NH90 helicopter and HNLMS Holland Offshore Patrol Vessel conducted deck landings with winds up to Force 8 and waves up to 4 meters high last week in the North Sea.

The tests are being conducted to determine the maximum wind limit for operating the NH90 from the Holland-class OPV.

These are needed to know how far you can go during operations in bad weather said Lieutenant Commander Chris van den Berg,
     
Royal Netherlands Navy crews of the NH90 helicopter and HNLMS Holland Offshore Patrol Vessel conducted deck landings with winds up to Force 8 and waves up to 4 meters high last week in the North Sea.
The NH90 helicopter is firmly secured on HNLMS Holland Offshore Patrol Vessel
(Picture: Dutch Ministry of Defence)

     
Maximum concentration

"Each class of ships are tested and analyzed. For example, you have to deal with wind turbulence," says the ship’s commander. “And, compared to the larger vessels like air defense and command frigates, and the amphibious transport ship, the Holland-class is more susceptible to waves."

A test team from the Air Force was collecting all data for analysis. In addition, for the first time a ship controlled the helicopter’s approach. In such a case, the air controller aboard the ship uses the radar images of the NH90 to guide the helicopter when its crew has poor or no visibility.

Flying independently

Night approaches and landings were carried out autonomously by the helicopter crew using night vision googles. “Whereas last week we waved off a Lynx because it had too much cockpit lighting and was not suitable to fly with this night vision equipment, its successor will be able to operate with it. This makes faster approaches possible. You can easily fly out and land independently." Test Pilot Lieutenant First Class Job Sicking reported.

"The NH90 weighs 11 tonnes, which is 6 tonnes more than the Lynx, where a knock on the stick often enough." This is the final week of sea trials aboard the Holland-class ships. While training is slightly behind schedule pending the delivery of more NH90s, the test schedule is on track. "Only deck landings on the M-frigates and additional testing, such as hot weather conditions testing remain to be done."

Shipborne Helicopters

Earlier this year, the Royal Dutch Airforce and Navy conducted deck landings with an Apache attack helicopter on the amphibious Landing Platform Dock (LPD) HNLMS Rotterdam. Cougar transport helicopters are currently deployed on the vessel deployed on mission against piracy off the coast of Somalia.
 

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