Norway terminates contract with supplier of helicopters, demands 5 billion kroner to be paid back

Bjørn Arild GramPhoto: Lise Åserud / NTB
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The contract with the supplier of the Armed Forces’ maritime NH90 helicopters is to be terminated, and the Norwegian government is demanding NOK 5 billion back from the supplier.

The helicopters will be taken out of operation with immediate effect, Minister of Defense Bjørn Arild Gram (SP) announced at a press conference on Friday morning.

“We have now carried out a thorough assessment of whether it is possible to get real operational benefits with the NH90 by implementing further measures from the defense sector. The conclusion was negative,” the Minister of Defense said.

The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency has sent a cancellation declaration to NHI. Gram said that the helicopters will be returned and that the Norwegian authorities will demand to get back the 5 billion that has so far been paid for the helicopters.

” This is the right decision for the NH90 and the maritime helicopter capacity. This was also our recommendation,” Chief of Defense Eirik Kristoffersen stated.

Delays

Defense equipment highlights four reasons why the contracts have now been terminated, accentuating delays and time-consuming maintenance as the more important ones. 

In 2001, the Ministry of Defense decided to purchase 14 NH90 helicopters from the Nato Helicopter Industries (NHI) consortium. The helicopters were to be used by the Coast Guard and for the Norwegian frigates in the Nansen class.

The machines were to be delivered in the years 2005–2008, but the delivery was significantly delayed. In 2018, the Armed Forces had only received 8 out of 14, but 6 of them could only be used for training. At the beginning of 2022, one of the 14 was still not delivered. 

The number of flight hours has been significantly lower than assumed due to an unforeseen high need for maintenance. The Armed Forces have pointed out that the Coast Guard’s operational capability has been weakened as a result.

It has now been decided that the helicopters will be phased out and that the contract will be terminated.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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