– In total, Norway is buying six helicopters, which are to be delivered in the period 2025 to 2027, writes the Ministry of Defense in a press release.
The acquisition has an expected cost frame of approximately NOK 12 billion. If the contract is entered into in the summer of 2023, as is planned, the first delivery could be in place from the summer of 2025. In the first place, there will be three helicopters that were intended for the US Navy, but all six helicopters must be in place by 2027.
The choice of maritime helicopter capacity is included as part of the investment proposal that will be presented to the Storting during the spring session.
– Proven technology
– Now we want to go to suppliers who have proven technology, which is used by allies, says Gram.
First and foremost, the six helicopters will go to the Coast Guard. On the navy’s frigates, they investigate whether the helicopters’ tasks can be solved by other capacities, according to Gram.
The helicopter capacity of the Navy and the Coast Guard has been a problem for many years. On 10 June, the government canceled the contract and ended the phasing in of NH-90 helicopters that were ordered way back in 2001.
Been without helicopters
The Norwegian Armed Forces have been without functional maritime helicopters ever since the Lynx helicopters were taken out of service at the turn of the year 2014/15.
In 2001, Norway ordered 14 helicopters of the NH-90 type for use on coastal vessels and frigates. The agreement was that it should be delivered by 2008, but a number of problems arose with the delivery. Among other things, delays from the supplier, a lack of spare parts and significant challenges in obtaining a sufficient number of flight hours that corresponded to operational needs.
When the contract was decided to be terminated in June 2022, the Norwegian Armed Forces had only received eight completed helicopters. They have only flown 700 hours a year.