The German NH90s and Tigers cuts explained

(This is a re-publication of an article dated 17th March 2013)

EC665 'Tiger' UHT in the James Bond movie 'GoldenEye'

Summary :

  • #EC665 Tiger order reduced from 80 to 57
  • #NH90 TTH orders reduced from 122 to 82
  • 18 NH90 NFH ordered
  • You want to understand this cut ?

  • Why 57 Tigers while you always read 40 ?
  • What is behind the NFH order ?
  • … Let’s read my article :

    German AirForce's variant of NH90 (note : the AirForce variant has 3 lateral flares launchers)

    On first, we must understand the reason of this cut :

    In fact, if the financial crisis has pushed the German Government to act, this is not the main reason of the cut.
    Initially, when #Tiger, #NH90, #A400M, #Eurofighter orders where signed, German Army was based on a conscription system.
    They recently (2011) modernized the Army, ending the conscription and switching to a « professional army ».
    In line with that reduction, #Germany does not anymore request large fleets in line with its number of soldiers, but serving its strategy only.

    As consequence, the Germany needs less equipments.

    German Army's variant of NH90 (note : the Army variant has 2 lateral flares launchers only)

    82 NH90 TTH is an adapted quantity if we consider that the German army wants, in long term, having NH90 only as medium helicopter (and CH35 as heavy, to be replaced later by the european Chinook).

  • How many for the Army, and for the Air Force ?
  • All NH90 will be operated by the Army, while the Air Force will use the CH53.

  • Is their a financial cut ?
  • No : the 40 TTH cut has been converted into an order of 18 NFH.

  • 18 NFH = 40 TTH ?
  • Not exactly…
    Based on French costs information, NFH is an half more expensive than TTH.
    In addition of that, you may consider all global costs such as NFH training & developments costs.

  • Why Germany orders #NFH ?
  • Initially, Germany defined a need of 30 Naval Helicopters for SAR & ASW/ASuW missions.
    This option was cut in accordance with other cuts.

    Campaign to validate NH90's airlift by A400M (NH90 : German AirForce)

    Concerning the Tigers :

    You might have read previously that Germany wanted to reduce its Tigers order from 80 to 40.
    This was a misunderstanding shortcut made by medias !
    Actually, German Government said wanting to reduce to « 40 deployable Tigers in final operational configuration » (understand : « 40 ASGARD »).

    Although reports suggested Germany was looking to deploy only 40 of the aircraft, Bertling said the country will « buy significantly more helicopters than they will deploy ».
    « Just because [they intend to field] 40 Tigers, it doesn’t mean that Tiger production will stop at 40, » he said. « I can’t tell you exactly, but it will be significantly higher than 40. »

    Source : FlightGlobal

    German EC665 'Tiger' UHT ASGARD during their deployment in AfghanistanGerman EC665 'Tiger' UHT ASGARD during their deployment in Afghanistan

    Based on my own calculation, I considered that Germany needs between 55 to 60 Tigers, +/-5 depending of the negociations (50 was the minimum requirement).

    Explaination :

  • Germany must be able to deploy Tigers over 3 to 4 missions (20 to 30 Tigers ASGARD)
  • They need a background of Tigers for deployments turnover & crews preparation (10 to 15 Tigers ASGARD)
  • Preventing critical risks (like crashes) on long-term (5 Tigers ASGARD)
  • Continuous training (10 Tigers, non necessary in deployable configuration)
  • Training in the Tiger School (5 Tigers, non necessary in deployable configuration)
  • « 40 deployable » :

    That does not mean they will simultaneously deploy 40 Tigers. As I explained :

  • Some are due to preventing risks
  • Some are requested as background.
  • The 11 buy-back :

    If you look at my explaination, Germany needs actually nears to 10 to 15 non-ASGARDS Tigers only.

  • Eurocopter will repurchase to the German army 11 non-FOC Tigers.
  • That also means that a total of 68 (11 + 57) UHT will have been produced & delivered.
  • German EC665 'Tiger' UHT ASGARD during their deployment in Afghanistan

    And the French ?

    I consider a need between 70 to 80 Tigers (~50 for HAP role, ~30 for HAD role).
    So it would not be affordable to negociate a reduction of 10 only.

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