LUXEMBOURG - In the margins of the NATO Defence Ministerial meeting on 16 June, the Ministers of France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom assigned 26.7 million EUR to define the future of their medium multi-role helicopter fleets under NATO's Next Generation Rotorcraft Capability (NGRC) project.
The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) will execute the Concept Stage on behalf of the participating nations. The Agency, in cooperation with industry and on behalf of the nations, will explore how to match their requirements with the latest technology on the market, opening to options such as hybrid and electric propulsion, a systematic open system architecture, 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. 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", stressed the NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană.
Medium multi-role helicopters have a wide range of civilian and military uses, including transportation of people and equipment, medical evacuation, search and rescue. Many of this type of rotorcraft currently operated by Allies will reach the end of their lifecycle in the years ahead. The NGRC Concept Stage will provide the foundation for Allies to develop and field the next generation of these key assets.
NSPA, identified as the contract authority during the Concept Stage, will launch a set of Request for Proposals to industry, assess the associated bids and award contracts for the initial NGRC studies and analysis. To that end, the Agency will activate a new dedicated NGRC Programme Office after the approval of the Acquisition Support Partnership. The Concept Stage is scheduled to conclude by the end of 2025.
The NGRC constitutes one of NATO's multinational High Visibility Projects and demonstrates NATO Allies' commitment to maintain a technological edge and to pursue multinational cooperation and interoperability.