France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom announced the launch of a multinational project on Next-Generation Rotorcraft Capabilities on 19 November 2020.
The project is dedicated to the modernization of existing rotorcraft fleets and is one of NATO’s High Visibility Projects (HVP).
The project highlights NATO Allies’ commitment to maintain a technological edge and to pursue multinational cooperation whenever possible. It aligns with Europe’s desire to reduce dependency on U.S. defence equipment.
A significant number of medium multi role helicopter capabilities currently operated by Allies will reach the end of their life cycle in the 2035 – 2040 period and beyond, with the subsequent need for replacements.
The Next Generation Rotorcraft project aims to develop a solution for these upcoming requirements, leveraging a broad range of recent advances in technology, production methods, as well as operational concepts.
Over the coming years, experts from all five nations will cover an exhaustive programme of work, starting with defining a robust Statement of Requirements and a multi-phase cooperation plan.
The Defence Ministers of the five Allies signed a Letter of Intent to develop an entirely new helicopter capability. The signature was added virtually from the capitals of participating nations.
“By investing our resources and channeling our development initiatives through a multinational framework, we are making sure Allies are equipped with the best available capabilities, which helps to maintain NATO’s technological edge,” stressed NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana.