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Norway considers NH90 alternatives to meet coastguard requirements

Norway is to field 14 NH90 NFH helicopters, of which eight will be used for coastguard, and six for anti-submarine and other maritime duties. For the embarked coastguard role, the country is looking at a commercially leased alternative to meet its requirements. (NHIndustries)

Norway has issued a request for information (RFI) for alternatives to its NHIndustries NH90 helicopters that are not able to meet all of the requirements of the country's coastguard.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Janes on 7 December that is gauging market interest should it decide to move forward with acquiring a long-term supplemental capability to the NH90s, by leasing an embarked helicopter capability from a commercial vendor.

“The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) is exploring opportunities to procure leased aircraft services in support of coastguard operations within the Norwegian maritime area of responsibility focusing on the igh orth the northern Atlantic, the Barents Sea, Svalbard, Jan Mayen,” the RFI stated. “The leased aircraft service will need to provide reliable and efficient embarked support to the coastguard vessels throughout the year during peacetime”

TheRoNAF has to date received 11 of 14 NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopters (NFHs), eight of which plans to operate on behalf of the Norwegian Coast Guard (NoCG) with the type being embarked on NoCG vessels. The MoD told Janes that a commercial leasing option would not see the NH90s being replaced, though it noted that it is considering a long-term solution to supplement the type in service. The RoNAF also operates 10 Leonardo AW101 Merlin helicopters in the land-based searchandrescue (SAR) role.

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