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UK downselects New Medium Helicopter contenders

Having entered service with the Royal Air Force in 1971, the Puma is to be replaced along with three other helicopter types under the NMH requirement. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

The UK has downselected the New Medium Helicopter (NMH) contenders for which it will now issue a detailed request for proposal (RFP) ahead of a final type selection and contract, Janes was told on 1 November.

Offers from Airbus, Boeing, Leonardo, and Lockheed Martin passed the pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) stage of the NMH requirement to replace the Westland-Aerospatiale SA 330E Puma and three other rotorcraft types in UK military service. Offers from Bell and AceHawk Aerospace did not pass the PQQ.

Airbus is offering its H175M, Leonardo its AW149, and Lockheed Martin its S-70M Black Hawk. The only suitable platform in Boeing's portfolio is the MH-139 Grey Wolf, but the company declined to say if this is the basis of its NMH bid. Of the four contenders that made it through the PQQ stage, Boeing, Leonardo, and Lockheed Martin confirmed their downselection to Janes , while Airbus Helicopters said that it had nothing additional to say at this time.

Boeing said it “has supported the United Kingdom armed forces for decades and employs hundreds of people across the country in helicopter sustainment, maintenance, and training. We look forward to hearing more from the Ministry of Defence on the next steps in the New Medium Helicopter requirement”.

Leonardo told Janes

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