Norway Terminates its Contract for the NH90

“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. Based on a joint recommendation by the Armed Forces and associated departments and agencies, the Norwegian Government has therefore decided to end the introduction of the NH90 and has authorized the Norwegian Defence Material Agency to terminate the contract, said Norwegian Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram.”

The Norwegian Defence Material Agency 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. 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 it has paid under the contract, in addition to interest and other expenses.

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 requested that the Armed Forces, along with the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency and the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, conduct 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.

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