Royal New Zealand Air Force, September 09, 2013 - The Royal NZ Navy and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) are working alongside the Australian Defence Force to develop the capabilities of HMNZS CANTERBURY, conducting First of Class Flight Trials for the NH90 helicopter from her flight deck.
HMNZS CANTERBURY is conducting two weeks of first of class flight trials for the NH90 off the north-east coast of Australia, 26 August to 6 September.
The trials will be conducted using a Royal Australian Navy test pilot and team and an ADF MRH90 helicopter (similar to the RNZAF NH90).
The flight trials represent an important step for integrating the NH90 helicopter into the NZ Defence Force, said the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Kevin Short.
"The purpose of the trials is to establish the operating limits for the NH90 on HMNZS CANTERBURY. This is a planned step in the process of bringing the NH90 into NZ Defence Force service, " he said
The First of Class Flight Trials involve testing the helicopter and the ship’s company onboard HMNZS CANTERBURY in a wide range of wind and sea states, in order to develop an authorised template for flying onboard. "It takes the ship’s company and the embarked aviation team to their limits in a controlled environment," explained the Commanding Officer HMNZS CANTERBURY, Commander (CDR) David Turner.
"These trials ensure that we are able to generate an aviation capability so that we’re prepared and ready to conduct flight operations across a wide range of conditions in the course of our duties.
"First of class trials are a unique challenge. It’s the first time that these activities are being conducted onboard HMNZS CANTERBURY with a state of the art helicopter," CDR Turner said.
"The opportunity to work with the ADF to conduct First of Class Flight Trials provides additional training opportunities, and builds interoperability and familiarity with HMNZS CANTERBURY," said AVM Short.