UK cuts helicopter purchases from 44 to 25-35 units under $1.3bn contract

The British Ministry of Defense has decided to reduce the number of helicopters that will be purchased in

as part of the New Medium Helicopter (NMH) program. This is reported by Breaking Defense.

What is known

At the end of autumn 2021, the UK decidedpurchase up to 44 helicopters. Almost two years later, due to funding problems, the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense decided to reduce the order to 25-35 units. The cost of the NMH program is estimated at £1bn ($1.3bn).

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The purchase of new helicopters will allow the UKabandon Bell 212, Bell 412 and AS365 Dauphins. The discussion of the conditions was planned for the first quarter of this year, but it was postponed to September. This was stated by Lenny Brown (Lenny Brown), managing director of Airbus Helicopters UK.

Airbus, if it wins the competition, will launchproduction of H175M helicopters in Wales, where production of A380 commercial airliners is now established. The company competes with Lockheed Martin and Leonardo UK, which offer the S-70M Black Hawk and AW149 helicopters, respectively.

Lenny Brown believes that winning the competition will openfor H175M doors to other countries. In particular, the managing director of Airbus Helicopters UK believes that the company will be able to sell approximately 500 helicopters worldwide, and is already receiving signals from potential buyers.

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A problem for NMH may be the need forreduction of production time, tk. The UK planned to get rid of Puma helicopters in 2025. Although Air Chief Marshal Richard Knighton said in the spring that their decommissioning could be delayed until 2027 or 2028.