Norway ‘ripped up’ Airbus’s contract: NH90 can fly only 700 h/y
OSLO ($1=9.57 Norwegian Krones) — Norway has decided to cancel the contract for the NH90 medium-sized, twin-engine, multi-role military helicopter, which it signed with Airbus Helicopters years ago. Many reasons for the decision were listed.
At a press conference held by Norwegian Defense Minister Bjorn Arild Gram, it was noted that NH90 helicopters were delivered with the specification that they can fly 3900 hours a year, but in reality, helicopters can fly only 700 hours a year.
“Unfortunately, we have come to the conclusion that no matter how many hours our technicians work and how many parts we order, they will never be able to make the NH90 meet the requirements of the Norwegian Armed Forces. Based on joint advice from the Armed Forces and relevant departments and agencies, the Norwegian Government has decided to terminate NH90 missions and authorize the Norwegian Defense Materials Agency to terminate the contract,” Bjorn Arild Gram said.
The purchase of the NH90 from Norway began in 2001. A total of 14 NH90 helicopters were purchased, of which 6 were for the Navy and 8 for the Coast Guard. Deliveries, which are expected to begin in 2008, began only at the end of 2011 and were completed by the end of 2016.
A statement from the ministry stressed that to date only 8 of the helicopters have been fully operational. “We have made many attempts to solve the problems with NH90 in cooperation with NHI, but more than 20 years after the signing of the contract, we still do not have helicopters to perform the tasks for which they were purchased, and NHI is not able to provide us with the realistic solution.” Norway hopes to return all helicopters and receive all its money after the contract is terminated.
Developed in partnership with NHI Industries [Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo Helicopters, and Fokker Aerostructures], the NH90 is designed to meet NATO’s requirement for a modern medium-sized multi-role military helicopter for both land and sea operations.
Available in NATO Tactical Transport [TTH] and Helicopter Helicopter [NFH] versions, the NH90 is a twin-engine helicopter featuring innovative features such as an advanced mission computer and a 4-axis autopilot flight control system.
The operators of the NH90 helicopter include the armies of Australia, Germany, Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Spain, and Sweden.