SARDINIA, Italy – Two German Tiger Helicopters arrived disassembled on the Ukrainian Antonov An-124 at Decimomannu Air Base, Sardinia on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, to participate in NATO exercise Noble Jump 23.
The German helicopters are part of Combat Helicopter Regiment 36, based in Fritzlar, Germany, and arrived along with 30 military personnel.
The combat helicopters are part of the German Aviation Task Force NATO Response Force (NRF) Land Component 2022 - 2024, whose second weapon system is the NH90 transport helicopter, which is also participating in the exercise. The unit has a total of 4 helicopters in Sardinia.
It took less than a day to reassemble the Tiger helicopters, since only the mast sight and weapons on the outstations, the most essential components of a combat helicopter, had to be dismantled for the airlift.
Immediately after the Antonov AN 124 lands at the Decimomannu military airfield, the final cargo unloading for the Noble Jump 23 exercise commences. -NATO photo by corporal (OR-4) Martin Glinker, DEU-A
Every component on the German Tiger attack helicopter, which is in Sardinia for exercise Noble Jump 23, is inspected by soldiers before the helicopter takes off on its first mission. - NATO photo by corporal (OR-4) Martin Glinker, DEU-A
Installing rotor blades on the German Tiger attack helicopter, which is in Sardinia for exercise Noble Jump 23, requires concentration and teamwork. - NATO photo by corporal (OR-4) Martin Glinker, DEU-A
The Tiger is capable of a wide range of combat missions, including armed reconnaissance and surveillance, anti-tank and close air support, escort and protection of friendly units. It can operate day or night and in all weather conditions and is designed for operations following chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear disasters. The Tiger can also operate in the maritime environment and is capable of operating from the decks of ships, including frigates, and in extreme weather conditions. The Tiger is highly manoeuvrable, largely due to the design of its 13-meter four-bladed hingeless main rotor. It can perform full loops and negative-G manoeuvres.
The pilots describe these excellent flight characteristics as particularly outstanding, enabling the crew to bring the Tiger into action both day and night at low altitudes (< 5m) in a highly agile manner. In combination with the operation of the mast sight and the employment of the weapons, the Tigers are highly valuable assets in combat command.
As part of Noble Jump 23, the Tigers will practice combat operations with ground forces of various nations and participate in live fire exercises with anti-tank missiles, unguided rockets and automatic cannons.