It is possible that the British Armed Forces’ new medium helicopter program will be significantly reduced

The UK Ministry of Defense may end up purchasing only 23 of the 44 helicopters initially planned as part of the Armed Forces’ New Medium Helicopter (NMH) programme, which seeks a new joint rotorcraft for the British Army and Royal Air Force ( RAF).

The UK-promoted NMH programme, which began in mid-2022, aims to acquire a new helicopter with the ability to carry out missions previously carried out by five different types of aircraft. Estr aims to create a common platform to replace the Bell 212AH1/AH3, the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin II of the British Army Air Force and the Puma HC Mk2 of the Royal Air Force.

More recently, in February, the British Ministry of Defense published an Invitation for Negotiation (ITN) document with the requirements that aircraft proposed by manufacturers must meet to meet the requirements and needs of military forces. But what is striking is that the number required to meet them ranges between 23 and 32 units..

32 would be highly unlikely, given that the government has acquired six H145s from Airbus Helicopter for missions in Brunei and Cyprus. Manufacturers, including Airbus Helicopters with the H175M, Leonardo Helicopters with the AW149 and Sikorsky with the S-70M, will take this figure into account when making their final bid for the programme.

Insecticide-treated nets changed only in numerical quantity, but not in economic value. Since the original bid was a maximum of $1.5 billion excluding VAT (20%), now the new document sets a total value with VAT of $1.2 billion including VAT. The change was not significant since units decreased by about half.

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August 30 is the deadline for companies to submit their bets, after which the winner will sign a contract in mid-2025 to begin delivering units between 2027 and 2032. Among the requirements that will burden the winner is the national component, embodied in the form of technology transfer and local production options.

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