Norway has canceled contracts to acquire 14 NH90 medium-lift helicopters that it will use for Coast Guard and anti-submarine warfare missions. Citing 20 years of frustration with the NH90 helicopter program, the Norwegian government has additionally requested a full refund from NHIindustries.
The NH90 program, managed by NHIndustries, is a joint venture between Airbus Helicopters and Leonardo that began in 1995 and delivered its first helicopter in 2007. To date, 471 different types of armed forces have been distributed, primarily in Europe. The twin-engine helicopter features fly-by-wire flight control, a useful load of 9,260 pounds, a maximum speed of 162 knots and a range of 530 nm. It was designed to provide a European-made alternative to Sikorsky’s ubiquitous UH-60 Black Hawk.
Over the years, various operators have reported various operational issues related to the NH90’s rear ramp, fuselage power and erosion, and the availability of engines, transmissions and spares.
“Based on a joint recommendation of the armed forces and the relevant departments and agencies, the Norwegian government has therefore decided to stop the introduction of NH90 and has approved the Norwegian Defense Materials Agency to cancel the agreement,” said Norwegian Defense Minister Bjorn Arild. Today the village in Oslo. Gram said Norway would begin looking for alternative solutions to fulfill the mission for which the NH90 was ordered.
Norway originally signed an agreement in 2001 to supply 14 aircraft, beginning in 2008. The fleet currently needs to deliver 3,900 flight hours a year but in recent years it has averaged about 700 hours, the ministry said. “We have made repeated efforts to resolve NH90-related issues in collaboration with the NHI, but more than 20 years after the agreement was signed, we still do not have helicopters capable of carrying out the missions for which they were purchased, and without them. Being able to “, said Gro Zere, director general of the Norwegian Defense Materials Agency. The agency will now begin preparations to return the helicopter and any spare parts and equipment received. It will also request a refund from NHI, which would include about NOK five billion (520 million) paid under the contract in addition to interest and other costs.
In a prepared statement issued this morning, NHIindustries called the cancellation “legally unfounded.”
“NHindustries is deeply disappointed by the decision taken by the Norwegian Ministry of Defense and denies the allegations against NH90 as well as the company. NHIindustries was not given the opportunity to discuss the latest proposal made to improve the availability of NH90 in Norway and to address specific Norwegian requirements. “