By Gareth Jennings
Five European nations have come together to develop a new medium-lift multirole helicopter for the 2035–40 time period.
Announced by NATO on 19 November, the multinational Next Generation Rotorcraft Capability (NGRC) project will involve France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and the United Kingdom, and was officially launched with the defence ministers from all five nations signing a letter of intent (LOI) in October.
“The Next Generation Rotorcraft [Capability] project aims to develop a solution for these upcoming requirements, leveraging a broad range of recent advances in technology, production methods, as well as operational concepts,” NATO said. “A significant number of medium multirole helicopter capabilities currently operated by allies will reach the end of their life-cycle in the 2035 to 2040 period and beyond, with the subsequent need for replacements.”
As noted by NATO, the project is dedicated to the modernisation of existing rotorcraft fleets and is one of the alliance’s High Visibility Projects (HVPs). “Over the coming years, experts from all [five] nations will cover an exhaustive programme of work, starting with defining a robust statement of requirements and a multiphase co-operation plan.”