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UK reaffirms NMH numbers after report of scaling back requirement

Despite recent reports that the UK had scaled back its NMH requirement, the MoD has reaffirmed its commitment to buy ‘up to 44' new helicopters to replace the Puma (pictured) and three other types. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has reaffirmed its commitment to the New Medium Helicopter (NMH) programmefollowing a report that it had scaled back the number of rotorcraft it was looking to procure.

Answering questions in the House of Commons, Minister of State in the MoD James Cartlidge said the number of helicopters to be procured under the NMH requirement to replace the Airbus Puma HC2 and three other UK military rotorcraft types remains the same, despite the CEO of Airbus Helicopters UK, Lenny Brown, reportedly saying that industry had been informed that the requirement had been dramatically reduced.

“There has been no change to the advertised requirement of up to 44 platforms in the New Medium Helicopter contract notice that was published in May 2022. Candidate suppliers have been evaluated to determine a shortlist, and those who are shortlisted will be invited to participate in the second half of the competition, which will be launched later this year,” Cartlidge said on 20 July.

Cartlidge's comments came a week after Brown was reported to have said at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2023 at Royal Air Force (RAF) Fairford in Gloucestershire that industry had been informed by the MoD to plan for a buy of between 25 and 35 new helicopters.

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