Belgium’s NH90 helicopter have begun operating in Gao, northern Mali. One of Belgium’s NH90 transport helicopters carried out its first operational mission with the United Nations mission in Mali.
According to open source reports, the helicopter was deployed to evacuate an injured German serviceman, who was flown 160 km back to Gao.
It was the first mission involving a Belgian NH90 since 50 Belgian soldiers and two NH90 helicopters were sent to Mali in February. Their task is to provide air transport for the UN peace mission in Mali, MINUSMA.
Belgium sent two NH90s to Mali in early February this year. They became operational in March and will be used to transport wounded to specialized emergency stations.
The Belgian NH90s will be used to replace four German NH90s currently deployed there.
The NH90 is equipped with an integrated communications and identification management system. The secure radio system provides air-to-air and air-to-ground communications. The NH90s will perform assault, transport and search-and-rescue missions.