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UK could buy up to 44 helicopters under £1 billion NMH acquisition

Zarvan

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UK defence officials are prepared to spend up to £1 billion ($1.3 billion) on as many as 44 aircraft under the country’s nascent New Medium Helicopter (NMH) programme, according to newly published tender documents.

Posted by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 11 November, the contract opportunity notice is the first step in the effort to replace the Royal Air Force’s 23-strong fleet of Puma HC2 helicopters, plus three other types operated by the British Army.

H175M third-c-Airbus Helicopters

Source: Airbus Helicopters
Airbus Helicopters is likely to propose military version of H175

Potential suppliers have been invited to a “market interest day” on 25 November to “further inform the NMH requirement and procurement strategy”, says the document.

“As part of market industry day and to better understand the market, the [MoD] intends to issue requests for information with invited suppliers on key elements of the NMH programme and for industry to respond to in writing,” it says.

According to the draft scope of the requirement, between 36 and 44 helicopters could be acquired, alongside simulators, training and support services; the estimated total value of the contract is £1 billion.

The MoD hopes to publish the contract by 1 July 2022, it adds.

AW149

Source: Leonardo Helicopters
Leonardo Helicopters is pushing credentials of AW149

Aside from the Pumas, types to be replaced include Airbus Helicopters AS365 Dauphins operated by UK special forces, plus the Bell 212s and 412s flown by the army.

Contenders for the NMH contract are likely to be the Airbus Helicopters H175M, Leonardo Helicopters AW149 and Sikorsky UH-60/S-70i Black Hawk.

UK could buy up to 44 helicopters under £1 billion NMH acquisition | News | Flight Global
 

Paul2

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What's wrong with Puma's?

H175M is a straight inferior option as a military heli, maybe worse than Dauphin for these money.

UK had Lynxes, spend gazillion money on them, then threw them out of the Window.
 

Paul2

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They are replacing them with a civilian machine with half to 1/4 of Puma's payload, whose only advantage is bigger fuel tank. Just getting new Super Pumas would've been both cheaper, and logical.

Both are made by Airbus today anyways, but Airbus wants to sell a more expensive, fancy toy. That's the only thing to that.
 

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