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Norway cancels NH90, demands refund

A Norwegian NH90 operating from the cost guard vessel KV Senja . The country has determined that it cannot bring the helicopter type up to the standard it requires, and has terminated its contract with NHIndustries. (Norwegian Coast Guard)

Norway has cancelled its NHIndustries (NHI) NH90 helicopter contract, demanding that the manufacturer refund the approximately NOK5 billion (USD520 million) it has spent on the programme to date.

In a statement released on 10 June, the Norwegian Minister of Defence, Bjørn Arild Gram, said that despite Norway's best efforts, the NH90 is unable to fulfil the requirements of the armed forces, and that it can no longer persevere with the type.

“Regrettably, we have reached the conclusion that no matter how many hours our technicians work, and how many parts we order, it will never make the NH90 capable of meeting the requirements of the Norwegian Armed Forces. Based on a joint recommendation by the armed forces and associated departments and agencies, the Norwegian government has therefore decided to end the introduction of the NH90 and has authorised the Norwegian Defence Material Agency [NDMA] to terminate the contract,” Gram said.

In the same statement, the Director General of the NDMA, Gro Jære, noted the decision had been made only after repeated efforts to rectify the situation and to bring the helicopters up to standard had been made. “We have made repeated attempts at resolving the problems related to the NH90 in cooperation with NHI, but more than 20 years after the contract was signed, we still don't have helicopters capable of performing the missions for which they were bought, and without NHI being able to present us with any realistic solutions,” he said.

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