Norway returns combat helicopters requested from the French

The helicopters we got are not working the way they should Erik Kristoffersen, commander-in-chief of the Norwegian Army, said of the NH90 military helicopters it had ordered from France. In 2001, Norway ordered 14 multi-purpose tactical helicopters from NH Industries of France. So far, he has received eight aircraft, which he will now send to the dispatcher, with the message that the remaining six aircraft will not be needed, Reuters reports.

The Oslo Ministry of Defense informed the company in a letter that 5 billion kroner (approximately 195 billion forints) was recovered, plus interest, for the helicopters.

NH Industries, a joint subsidiary of Airbus in France, Leonardo in Italy, and Fokker Aerostructures in the Netherlands, has already responded. This was reported to an online newspaper called Dagbladet in Norway: They are very frustrated, but believe that the termination of the contract is not legally justified, so the decision was not accepted.

Norway has many problems With NH90s also used by thirteen members of NATO. He complains that the French manufacturer has not yet delivered all the machines ordered, even though it originally promised to fulfill the contract by 2008, which was later revised to 2022. FlightGlobal notes that the French company only recently indicated It will be completed by 2024 with the latest helicopter.

NH90s are used by the armies of thirteen NATO member countries. It wasn’t just the Norwegians who had trouble with multifunctional helicopters. Australia decided last year to replace the French NH90s with American helicopters, but neither the Germans nor the Dutch were entirely satisfied with the performance of the machines, which were said to be suitable for both troop transport and combat missions. Photo: Kurt Despinter/Belgium via AFP

Norway has an even bigger problem with the fact that the helicopters already involved in the country’s army are unreliable, their parts wear out quickly, and their demand for service is very high.

No matter how many hours our engineers spend repairing machines or how many parts we replace, the NH90 will never meet the standards of the Norwegian Armed Forces.

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– The country’s defense minister justified the termination of the contract. Björn Arild Gram added that NH Industries had not offered a realistic solution to the problems raised by the Norwegian Army, and had no idea how to significantly improve the helicopters’ performance. NH90s can fly 3900 hours a year on paper, but in reality they can barely last 700 hours without a service.

The Italian, German, French and Australian armies, among others, purchased multi-purpose helicopters from NH Industries (which can be used for both troop transport and combat missions). Australia decided in December last year to decommission its NH90 fleet and buy American Black Hawk combat helicopters instead. The Canberra government recently offered France a fig by withdrawing from a contract with France’s Naval Group to supply 12 diesel-electric submarines. Australia opted instead for US-British nuclear-powered submarines. We’ve written about this in detail here:

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