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Finnish NH90s take part in historic operation

13th June 2011 - 10:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Finnish Defence Forces made aviation history on 8th June, when eight NH90-helicopters executed large troop transportation in FDF main field exercise “Pyörremyrsky”.

Over 150 jaegers were transported from Helsinki area to Kauhava. This was the largest troop transportation so far made with NH90-helicopters in Finland, perhaps even in the whole world.

In Finnish Defence Forces' main field exercise “Pyörremyrsky”, whirlwind in Finnish, Helicopter Battalion was given a mission where 157 conscripts from Guard Jaeger Regiment had to be relocated from Helsinki area at a 320 kilometres distance to Kauhava.

Eight NH90-helicopters were planned to use in this massive troop transportation. Plan was quite ambitious because it demanded 80 percent usability of the helicopter capacity. Utti Jaeger Regiment’s Helicopter Battalion has so far been delivered ten NH90-helicopters out of twenty Finland has ordered from NHI. In the early morning of the D-day up to nine NH90’s were straight in flight line on the apron ready to start the operation, one helicopter being in the reserve. 

To be able to do this, technicians had to put up a lot of maintenance works. But if the planning and the execution of the mission was a good training for the pilots, then also was the preplanning and maintenance task also very good training for the mechanics, tells Lieutenant Colonel Ari Pellinen, Commanding Officer of the Helicopter Battalion.

The actual operation planning was done between the troops, helicopter pilots, Army and Air force HQ´s, says Captain Kimmo Nordberg, who was the main planner and leader of the helicopter operation. 

The first transportation from Helsinki to Kauhava was made with eight NH90’s leaving about 45 jaegers still in Helsinki. The second transportation took place with four helicopters taking the rest of the troop to their new operation zone.

Two hot refuels were performed during the operation. Four helicopters were refuelled at same time taking only nine minutes.

The whole transportation was made in tactical eight ship formation in low level flight. Only few minor failures occurred during mission and in the end all the helicopters landed to main base and would have been able to get airborne still right after the mission. So the usability was still 80% after the mission, continues Captain Kimmo Nordberg very pleased.

Eight NH90-helicopters used all together 40 flight hours in the operation which proceeded better and faster than was expected as it took five hours to relocate 157 soldiers in this mission.  NH90 aviation history was made at least in Finland, maybe in the whole world.

Source: Finnish Army

The Shephard News Team


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