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Norway to replace NH90 helicopters with MH-60R

Norway expects to receive the first of six MH-60R Seahawks in 2025, with deliveries to run through to 2027. (US Navy)

Norway has elected to replace its NHIndustries (NHI) NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH) anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and search-and-rescue (SAR) rotorcraft with the Lockheed Martin MH-60R Seahawk, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 14 March.

The 14 NH90 helicopters that were cancelled in 2022 are to be replaced by six MH-60Rs to be delivered from 2025 to 2027, assuming that an agreement can be reached with the US Navy in the third quarter of 2023, Norwegian Minister of Defence Bjørn Arild Gram said in a press conference.

“The government has chosen the American Seahawk as the new maritime helicopter capacity. The new helicopters replace the NH90, which was grounded in June last year,” Gram said.

News of the replacement type selection came around nine months after Gram set out his country's case for terminating the contract and returning the NH90 helicopters to NHI.

“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 Materiel Agency (NDMA) to terminate the contract.”

According to Gram, Norwegian crews will receive training on the MH-60R in Denmark, which has operated the type since 2016.

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