Airbus is to offer a solution for the New Medium Helicopter (NMH) requirement that provides long-term sustainment for the company, and for the United Kingdom’s rotorcraft industry.
A UK-developed military version of the H175 could be one of Airbus’ offerings to the MoD as a potential Puma replacement, along with the H225M and NH90. (Airbus Helicopters)
Speaking to Janes and other defence media at its Oxford Airport facility on 22 April, Airbus Helicopters UK said that the company’s bid to replace the Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) fleet of Puma HC2s and three other helicopter types later in the decade will be driven by sustainability, as much as anything else.
“It is more about making sure that what we do is sustainable. Manufacturing would always be for more than the UK – if not, it is not sustainable and it just wouldn’t make any sense,” Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters UK, Colin James, said. “The New Medium Helicopter is an opportunity to do something for the UK helicopter industry, but also helicopters are important for the sustainability of Airbus, which has provided great success for the UK.”
James’ comments on sustainability reflect the UK Defence and Security Industrial Strategy (DSIS) document that was released earlier this year in tandem with the Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper. This document placed a greater emphasis on supporting UK industry at home and national prosperity through exports abroad, over the more traditional procurement priorities of cost and capability.
With the RAF set to retire its 23 Puma HC2 helicopters in 2025, Janes