Rheinmetall Modernizing Simulators for NH90 NFH Sea Lion Naval Helicopters
Rheinmetall Modernizing Simulators for NH90 NFH Sea Lion Naval Helicopters

Rheinmetall Modernizing Simulators for NH90 NFH Sea Lion Naval Helicopters

Rheinmetall has scored another success with Asterion, its range of world-leading simulator products. Group subsidiary Rheinmetall Electronics GmbH has been awarded a follow-up contract by its partner company Reiser Simulation und Training GmbH (RST) for simulators for the NH90 NFH Sea Lion naval helicopter. Rheinmetall’s Bremen-based simulation specialists have been tasked with upgrading the “Functional Cockpit” Asterion cockpit trainer. The Functional Cockpit is part of the maintenance training rig for the NH90 developed and supplied by Reiser Simulation und Training GmbH for the German Navy Air Station in Nordholz. These simulators enable maintenance personnel of the Bundeswehr’s Naval Air Squadron 5 to carry out realistic maintenance and repair operations. The simulators will be completely modernized by 2024.

Rheinmetall’s outstanding Asterion product range is a dynamic, highly realistic training asset for instructing technical personnel. Asterion’s lifelike simulation of original equipment is compelling. Rheinmetall thus makes it possible to provide totally realistic training for NH90 ground personnel for German Army and Navy aviation units alike. This upgrade will make it possible for Navy personnel to train for the latest configuration of the NH90 NFH Sea Lion naval helicopter. It thus marks an important milestone for use of the maintenance training rig in combination with the integrated “Functional Cockpit” Asterion cockpit trainer for the German Navy’s NH90 NFH. Final acceptance testing of the world’s first Asterion cockpit trainer for the Army version of NH90 TTH took place back in December 2016.

The German Navy’s Sea Lion combines features of the TTH troop transport version with the marinized airframe of the NFH anti-submarine helicopter. (Photo by NHIndustries )

This simulator was then transferred to the international helicopter training centre at Faßberg in Lower Saxony. Then, in August 2017, Rheinmetall received an order to further develop its highly sophisticated Asterion training simulation software and to integrate it into Reiser Simulation und Training GmbH’s maintenance training rig, or MTR. The MTR replicates all relevant functions for the first expansion phase of the German Navy’s new NH90 NFH Sea Lion multipurpose helicopter in Nordholz. Aided by data collected from the German Navy’s real helicopters, Rheinmetall will now adapt the software to the current configuration of the NH90 helicopter and integrate it into the Functional Cockpit. The latest order is another important milestone for Rheinmetall in the field of maintenance training resources, supporting high-quality training for users in line with European Military Airworthiness Requirements (EMAR).

The NHIndustries NH90 is a medium-sized, twin-engine, multi-role military helicopter. It was developed in response to NATO requirements for a battlefield helicopter which would also be capable of being operated in naval environments. The NH90 was developed and is manufactured by NHIndustries, a collaborative company owned by Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo (formerly AgustaWestland) and Fokker Aerostructures. The NH90 is the first production helicopter to feature entirely fly-by-wire flight controls. There are two main variants, the Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) for army use and the navalised NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH); each customer typically has various alterations and customisations made to their own NH90 fleets, such as different weapons, sensors, and cabin arrangements, to meet their own specific requirements. The German Navy’s version, known as the NH90 Sea Lion, is based on the NH90 NFH.