Norway, one of the founding NATO members, is terminating a contract for NH-90 military helicopters it signed back in 2001, the country’s Defense Minister Bjorn Arild Gram announced at a press conference on Friday. The model, which was developed specifically to meet the military alliance’s requirements, has been deemed suboptimal by the Norwegian military, which cited multiple defects and delays.
As the model “will never be in a position to fulfill the requirements of the Norwegian armed forces,” Oslo is now demanding that the nearly €500 million it has paid so far be reimbursed. The operation of the helicopters, which had already been delivered to Norway, was ceased with immediate effect on Friday. The machines will be returned to the manufacturer, France-based multinational company NHIndustries.
In the meantime, Oslo is reportedly looking for a replacement, which could come from the US, Germany’s Die Welt outlet indicated.