March 14, 2015 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: French navy; issued March 13, 2015)
(Issued on French; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
A French navy NH90 Caiman anti-submarine warfare helicopter seen here during operational trials of its primary ASW weapon, the MU90 lightweight torpedo. The helicopter has now obtained its combat qualification in the ASW role. (FR navy photo)
Friday, March 13, 2015 will remain an important date in the history of the NH90 Caiman Marine helicopter, which after qualifying to operate the MU90 lightweight torpedo has been certified as having attained an initial combat capability by the French navy staff.
This is a significant milestone for the FREMM frigate / Caiman operational duo, which is qualified for engaging the most up-to-date submarine threats at longer stand-off ranges.
The French navy’s Caiman saga began with the delivery of the first helicopter on May 2010. It was followed in December 2011 by the type’s first “rescue alert” mission on the Atlantic coast and on a nation-wide stand-by for “maritime anti-terrorism” missions. In February 2103, the Caiman qualified for the “ship-based anti-submarine warfare” mission, in support of the navy’s strategic missile submarines and of the aircraft carrier task force.
A naval Caiman is currently deployed on board the air-defense frigate “Chevalier Paul,” which is currently deployed to the Middle East on “operation Arromanches”.