The project is dedicated to the modernization of existing rotorcraft fleets and is one of NATO’s High Visibility Projects (HVP).
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 Geoană.
The project highlights NATO Allies’ commitment to maintain a technological edge and to pursue multinational cooperation whenever possible.
What is the NGRC ?
The Next Generation Rotorcraft Capability initiative creates a multinational framework under which its participants can combine efforts to work on design, development and delivery of a medium multi-role helicopter.
A significant amount of the medium multi-role assets currently in service by Allies will reach the end of their life cycle in the 2035-40 period and beyond, with the subsequent need for replacements. These existing inventories are all based on designs dating back to the previous century. The aim of the NGRC initiative is to respond to this upcoming requirement, in a timely and cost-effective manner while concurrently leveraging a broad range of recent advances in technology, production methods, as well as operational concepts.
NATO differentiates between three different classes of vertical lift – or generally known as helicopter – capabilities: light, medium and heavy. The difference lies in the payload that can be carried. The NGRC concept phase will focus initially on medium multi-role capabilities, taking into account the speed of the technological evolution and participants’ future requirements.
Following preliminary discussions about future requirements, Defence Ministers from France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom decided to launch the multinational NGRC initiative, through signature of a Letter of Intent in the margins of the October 2020 Defence Ministerial Meeting.
Following this agreement, the five Allies will start working on defining a robust Statement of Requirements for informing an envisioned concept phase and a multi-phase cooperation plan for defining, developing and fielding of the NGRC capability.
NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană and representatives of France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the UK signed Letter of Intent (LoI) to develop the Next-Generation Rotorcraft