Norway Terminates NH90 Helicopter Contract, Seeks $515 Million Refund

  • Our Bureau
  • 01:47 PM, June 11, 2022
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Norway Terminates NH90 Helicopter Contract, Seeks $515 Million Refund
NH-90 helicopter

The Norwegian Government has decided to end the introduction of the NH90 helicopter and has authorized the Norwegian Defence Material Agency (NDMA) to terminate the contract, said Norwegian Minister of Defence, Mr. Bjorn Arild Gram.
"We have made repeated attempts at resolving the problems related to the NH90 in cooperation with NHI, but more than 20 years after the contract was signed, we still don’t have helicopters capable of performing the missions for which they were bought, and without NHI being able to present us with any realistic solutions," said Gro Jære, Director General ofthe NDMA.
The NDMA has subsequently informed the manufacturer of the NH90, NATO Helicopter Industries (NHI), that it has terminated the contract in its entirety, and that it will be seeking full restitution of all funds and assets received by both parties, a Norwegian government statement said.
The Agency will now begin preparations to return the helicopters along with any spares and equipment received.It will also request a refund from NHI, which will include the approximately NOK five billion (US$515 million) it has paid under the contract, in addition to interest and other expenses.

Norway Terminates NH90 Helicopter Contract, Seeks $515 Million Refund
NH-90 Helicopter close-up

Norway’s acquisition of the NH90 began in 2001

"Regrettably we have reached the conclusion that no matter how many hours our technicians work, and how many parts we order, it will never make the NH90 capable of to meeting the requirements of the Norwegian Armed Forces," the NDMA head said.
Norway’s acquisition of the NH90 began in 2001, with 14 helicopters for Coast Guard and Anti-Submarine Warfare duties originally slated for delivery by the end of 2008. As of today, only eight have been delivered in a fully operational configuration. The fleet is currently required to provide 3.900 flight hours annually but in recent years it has averaged only about 700 hours.
The Norwegian Ministry of Defence in February 2022 conducted a comprehensive review of Norway’s maritime helicopter capabilities. The review concluded that even with significant additional financial investments, it would not be possible to bring the performance and availability of the NH90 to a level that would meet Norwegian requirements.
Due to the contract termination, Norwegian flight operations with the NH90 will be discontinued, and any planned future missions will be cancelled. Any Armed Forces personnel affected by the termination will receive immediate follow-up through their respective units.

Search for new helicopter to begin
The Norwegian Ministry of Defence will shortly begin the process of identifying an alternative maritime helicopter.
Norway continues to have a requirement for maritime helicopters, and it is therefore essential that we quickly begin preparations to fill the capability gap left by the NH90. We will consider several alternative approaches to meeting our operational requirements, but we must be prepared for the fact that there will be no easy solutions, said Minister of Defence Bjorn Arild Gram.

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