New Zealand Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman officially welcomed the first two of the RNZAF’s new NH90 helicopters at Wellington Airport on March 9
The MH90s will replace UH-1H Iroquois in service. In a statement, Dr Coleman said: “This is a very significant day for the Air Force and the wider NZDF. The NH90 helicopters are state of the art machines with better capabilities and full self–protection. They are the most advanced and capable helicopters the Air Force has ever had.”
The machines will undergo a an operational test and evaluation phase based out of Ohakea lasting up to 18 months before achieving an initial operating capability (IOC) late next year.
“The NH90s will deliver the priorities outlined in the Defence White Paper and improve the Defence Force’s ability to conduct disaster relief, search and rescue, or other operations. The NH90 is particularly important for our future Joint Amphibious Task Force,” Coleman said.