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Futuristic British military helicopter reaches next competitive stage

Futuristic British military helicopter reaches next competitive stage


Bidding for a new medium helicopter contract begins as negotiations move into the invitation phase. The new helicopter model will support defense operations around the world. The new medium-sized helicopter offers a requirement of up to five rotor blades.

The next phase of the New Medium Helicopter (NMH) program was announced today by Defense Procurement Minister James Cartlidge.

The NMH program is an initiative to acquire a modern medium lift-supported helicopter to serve up to five rotor wing requirements using a single aircraft type. This means the platform can streamline its capabilities by taking on defensive tasks previously performed by up to five different aircraft types. This will have a positive impact on the UK’s ability to operate now and in the future by improving efficiency and operational flexibility.

Once operational, it will provide the military with a new medium-lift aircraft capable of operating in all environments to support a wide range of defense missions, from warfare to humanitarian efforts and global operations.

It was announced today that an invitation for negotiations has been issued at the International Military Helicopter Conference in London. This means that three of NMH's shortlisted suppliers – Airbus Helicopters UK, Leonardo Helicopters UK and Lockheed Martin UK – will now write their bids and have them assessed by NMH. The Ministry of National Defense determines the successful bidder.

The competition is managed by Defense Equipment and Support (DE&S), and proposals will be evaluated until 2025, with contract award expected, subject to government approval.

Defense Procurement Minister James Cartlidge said:

The new medium helicopters will provide vital support to our military operations and we are delighted to have reached the next important phase of the program.

The program competition includes essential criteria that are key to ensuring critical rotor wing operational independence, enabling rapid response to emerging threats in a highly competitive world.

The NMH competition will include essential industrial considerations covering design, production, manufacturing and significant export potential. This means that the New Medium Helicopter contract will not only secure the critical operational independence we need, but will also invest in British technology for the long term. Demonstrates the UK Government's commitment to the Defense and Security Industrial Strategy.




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