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Norway has ended its NH90 helicopter contract, citing manufacturer NHIndustries’ inability to find replacement components for critical systems on the helicopter. This included some components for the NH90’s anti-submarine warfare capability. Norway will now return all the helicopters and is demanding a full refund.
“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 meeting the requirements of the Norwegian Armed Forces,” said Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram in a press release announcing the move. “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.”
Following the statement, the Norwegian Defence Material Agency informed NHIndustries (NHI) that it was terminating the entire contract. The agency will begin preparation to return the helicopters, along with any spares and equipment received. Additionally, the agency is requesting a refund from NHI, which includes an estimated five billion kroner it has paid under the contract, along with any interest and other expenses.
“We have made repeated attempts at resolving the problems related to the NH90 in cooperation with NHI, but after more than 20 years after the contract was signed, we still don’t have helicopters capable of performing the missions for which they were bought, and without NHI being able to present us with any real solutions,” said Gro Jære, director-general of the Norwegian Defence Material Agency.
Following the announcement, a statement from NHIndustries said: “We are extremely disappointed by the decision taken by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence and refute the allegations being made against the NH90 as well as the company. NHIndustries was not offered the possibility to discuss the latest proposal made to improve the availability of the NH90 in Norway and to address the specific Norwegian requirements.
“NHIndustries and its partners have been absolutely committed to addressing the concerns expressed and have brought the appropriate and tailored solutions to the table to meet the specific and unique Norwegian requirements. With 13 helicopters delivered out of 14, and the last example ready for acceptance, we were close to finalizing the main scope of the initial contract. NHIndustries considers this termination to be groundless.”