Sea Lion

Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first NH90 Sea Lion naval multi-role helicopter to the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), with a further two to be delivered by the end of the year.

Airbus Helicopters delivers first NH90 Sea Lion to the German Armed Forces

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.

«I am proud of our teams who worked hard to meet the ambitious delivery schedule of our customer, whose continuous support has also been key in making it happen», said Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Airbus Helicopters Deutschland. «During the summer, we successfully completed demonstration flights involving the German Navy and BAAINBw to verify the Sea Lion capabilities for search and rescue as well as special forces missions. I am confident that these helicopters will bring next-generation capabilities to the German Navy, and I’m committed to ensure the best level of support for the Sea Lion fleet».

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.

Thanks to its multi-role capability and growth capability, the Sea Lion will not only replace the German Navy’s Sea King Mk41 fleet but significantly enhance its operational capabilities. The fly-by-wire flight controls of the NH90 Sea Lion reduce the crew’s workload thanks to its high precision and ease of use, which particularly come to the fore in over-water hovering, even in poor weather conditions.

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.

Five nations are already using the NH90 in its naval NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH) version and have completed more than 50,000 flying hours in SAR, humanitarian and military missions, with the 90 helicopters that have been delivered so far. The 399 helicopters that make up the worldwide NH90 fleet have already completed over 230,000 flying hours. This first Sea Lion is also the 400th NH90 helicopter to be delivered.



Maximum Weight 11,000 kg/24,250 lbs.
Capacity Crew (2 + 1 or 2 + 2) + up to 7/6 troops in Anti-Submarine Warfare/Anti-SUrface Warfare (ASW/ASuW), or up to 14 troops for transport in full crashworthy condition
Engine 2 RTM 322-01-9 or T700 T6E1 Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). Maximum emergency power One Engine Inoperative (OEI) 30 sec: 2,172 kW/2,913 shp
Fast Cruise Speed 147 knots/169 mph/272 km/h
Maximum Range 450 NM/518 miles/834 km
Main Missions Anti-Submarine & Anti-SUrface


Search And Rescue
Logistic & vertical replenishment
Casualty/medical evacuation
Special operations (including maritime counter-terrorism and anti-piracy)
Maritime surveillance/enforcement

* Capability of 2 torpedoes or 2 anti-ship missiles, or 1 of each