The UK, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands have pledged more than £20 million to a new project seeking to define the future of their military helicopter fleets.

Under NATO’s Next Generation Rotorcraft Capability (NGRC) project, the six allied nations announced a €26.7 million fund during a NATO Defence Ministerial meeting.

Clean sheet design

In cooperation with industry, the participants will start from a clean sheet to explore how to match their needs with the latest technology on the market, looking at options such as hybrid and electric propulsion and the delivery of radically improved flight characteristics.

“This is a clear example of NATO and allies working together to harness fast-changing technology for the benefit of our military capabilities,” NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană said.

“By investing our resources and channelling our development through a multinational framework, we are making sure Allies will be equipped with the best available equipment.”

Nearing retirement

Medium multi-role helicopters have a wide range of civilian and military uses, including transportation of people and equipment, medical evacuation, search and rescue. However many of this type of rotorcraft currently operated by these countries will reach the end of their lifecycle in the years ahead.

The NGRC Concept Stage will provide the foundation for countries to develop and field the next generation of aircraft. The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) will execute the Concept Stage on behalf of the participants.
Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter