Belgium Receives Last NH90 Troop Transport Helicopter

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The last of four NH90 troop transport helicopters ordered by Belgium, designated RN08, was handed over in Marignane, France, Nov. 13.

Belgian Defense photo

Belgian Lt.Gen Guy Clément, Director-General of Materiel Resources, who received the helicopter, said the other three have clocked up 450 flying hours since the first one entered service Oct. 2, 2013. With 34 flying hours a month, Belgian pilots are among the most intensive users of the NH90, according to the Belgian ministry of defense, which added that average availability is 67%. The flights are used to train pilots, winch operators and board gunners.

RN05 and RN06, delivered in 2012 and 2013, respectively, flew to Marignane from the French Light Army Aviation Mountain Flight Center, where they had been practicing flying over moutainous terrain over the Pyrenees, to escort RN08 to Beauvechain, Belgium, home of their 1 Wing, Nov 14.

The last two of four NATO Frigate Helicopters ordered by Belgium will be delivered at the end of November and the first half of 2015, respectively, replacing navy Sea Kings in the search and rescue role at Koksijde, Belgium.

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