Five NATO member states, in which Greece is one, have signed letters of intent to build the alliance’s next-generation helicopter, which will replace the existing fleets by 2035.
France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Greece have signed on to participate in the “Next-Generation Rotorcraft Capability,” or NGRC, program.
“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,” NATO said in a statement.
According to NATO, this joint project is absolutely crucial as “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.”
Details including costs, labor share between the five countries and specific schedules have not yet been released.
The Alliance predicts that the defense ministers of the participating countries will sign a legally binding Memorandum of Understanding for the initial phase of the program in 2022.
NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană, in commenting on this development, said “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.”
This latest development comes as the United States has proposed Greece purchases four American-made frigates, offering in return co-production of three vessels in the country, as previously reported by Greek City Times.