Helis, January 02, 2020 - Only 20 out of 152 Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) helicopters were ready for action last November according a German media report.
The German Army had only 8, of 53, Tiger attack helicopters and 12, of 89, NH90 transport helicopters in flight condition at one time.
Both highly advanced models have been known to been susceptible to faults for years with all the fleet being grounded several times but most of these problems have been reported resolved.
The helicopters are sent to the manufacturer, Airbus Helicopters Deutschland, for maintenance checks. The Tiger need an inspection after 400 flight hours and the NH90 after 600.
This low operational rate affects others helicopter types as well. The CH-53, for example, had less than 20 of them ready to fly last year from a 70-strong fleet.
The shrinking course of the German military budget is always mentioned as the main cause of these problems that, of course, affects all kinds of weapon systems and not just helicopters.
The NH90 is a medium-sized, twin-engine, transport helicopter developed by Germany, France and Italy. First flew in 1995, almost 400 NH90 have been delivered to 13 countries and accumulated over 230,000 flying hours.
The Tiger, or Tigre, is a twin-engined, tandem 2-seat attack gunship helicopter developed by Germany, France and Spain. First flew in 1991, more than 180 have been delivered to 4 countries and accumulated over 115,000 flight hours.