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"Next Generation Rotorcraft Capability": NH90-Nachfolger

Verfasst: So 22. Nov 2020, 16:55
von theoderich
Five nations join forces to develop the Next Generation of Medium Multi-Role Helicopters
France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom announced the launch of a multinational project on Next-Generation Rotorcraft Capabilities on 19 November 2020.
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.
https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_178952.htm

Re: "Next Generation Rotorcraft Capability": NH90-Nachfolger

Verfasst: Fr 22. Jan 2021, 00:41
von theoderich
Airbus Helicopters looks to Leonardo to counter US threat in military sector
Europe’s two rotorcraft manufacturers must come together to develop a next-generation military helicopter or run the risk of losing out to their rivals, an Airbus Helicopters executive has warned.

Jerome Combe, head of product policy and strategy at the airframer, told the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Next-Generation Rotorcraft Conference that it would be undesirable to have two major European helicopter manufacturers “competing in a shrinking military market”.

“Without co-operation we take the risk of not reaching critical mass” to achieve a return on the substantial investment required to bring a new aircraft to market, he says.
But Combe says there is also potential to join forces under a similarly titled effort Airbus has proposed to the European Defence Fund.

Combe is hopeful that this proposal can coalesce into an “identified” programme along the lines of the four-country EuroMALE unmanned air vehicle initiative.

He says support for the rotorcraft initiative has already been voiced by all three of its home nations: France, Germany and Spain.

“We would definitely be stronger towards Europe if we were going hand and in hand with Leonardo. We hope this will be the case in the future.”

Discussions between the pair are already under way, says Combe, and he is positive that an agreement on a future direction can be reached.

He notes that both companies are separately developing high-speed civil platforms – Racer and the Next-Generation Civil Tiltrotor, respectively – under the EU’s Clean Sky 2 programme.

These could be used to perform flight demonstrations for military customers to assess the suitability of their architectures for a range of missions, he says.

And while the Racer will be a smaller aircraft than that outlined by NATO, Combe says that Airbus modelled a similar compound architecture for its now abandoned X6 programme for a helicopter of up to 16t.

“When we explored the architecture for a heavier aircraft there was no blocking in terms of the design,” he says.
While Italy and the UK are part of NATO’s NGRC process, both countries have also expressed an interest in the USA’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programme.

Should one or the other decide to leave the NATO effort, that could also throw Leonardo’s continued participation into doubt.

However, Combe says this will depend on whether FVL is “a competitor or complementary asset” to NGRC.

That will ultimately depend on the requirements outlined by NATO, particularly those around speed, range and endurance, says Steve Allen, head of strategy at Leonardo’s UK helicopter unit.

“A discussion around vehicle architecture is fundamental from an early stage,” he says.

In addition, choosing a non-US product may be driven by concerns around consideration needs to be given to sovereign capability, freedom of action and industrial strategy, he adds.

The NGRC group should begin to clarify some of these issues later this year, when it conducts planned engagement with industry.

Allen also notes that while the 2035 timeframe is achievable, veterans of previous development programmes would consider it a “sporty timeline”.

Although FVL presents an obvious threat to military sales, Combe stresses that the technological development driven by the programme will also lead to increased competition in the civil market.
https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 70.article

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