NATO partner nations launch Next Generation Rotorcraft Capability
Defence ministers from France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the UK have signed a Letter of Intent to begin developing a new medium class multirole helicopter under NATO’s Next Generation Rotorcraft Capability (NGRC) programme.
Named as one of the alliance’s High Visibility Projects (HVP), partner nations will collaborate on NGRC to address helicopter modernisation needs in light of ‘a significant number’ of medium class multirole aircraft set to go out of service between 2035-2040.
‘The Next Generation Rotorcraft project aims to develop a solution for these upcoming requirements, leveraging a broad range of recent advances in technology, production methods, as well as operational concepts,’ NATO said in a 19 November statement.
‘Over the coming years, experts from all five nations will cover an exhaustive programme of work, starting with defining a robust Statement of Requirements and a multi-phase cooperation plan.’
From 2022 onward NATO expects partner nations to have signed off on a Memorandum of Understanding to start a concept phase with a timeline of 2035-2040 set for first deliveries of the next generation helicopter.
By opting for a NGRC ‘shared’ helicopter design, NATO wants to increase interoperability among allies.
Aircraft set for replacement include the AW101, UH-60 Black Hawk, Puma and NH90.
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