Five European states will collaborate in the development of a new medium helicopter.
NATO announced that France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom had signed an agreement on 19 November to launch work on the development of a new-generation medium helicopter in a multinational framework. The program, named NGRC for Next Generation Rotorcraft Capabilities, will be conducted as part of the Atlantic alliance's High Visibility Projects (HVP).
"A significant number of medium utility helicopters currently operated by the Allies will reach the end of their life cycle by 2035-2040 and beyond, and will therefore need to be replaced," NATO says. The ambition of the NGRC program is to develop a helicopter capable of replacing these fleets while integrating future threats, "taking advantage of a wide range of recent advances in technology, production methods and operational concepts," the organization adds.
First, a review of the capacity needs of the different countries will be conducted, in parallel with the establishment of the cooperation framework. Although a letter of intent has been signed by the defence ministers of the five countries, the contribution of each state has not yet been detailed.