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British Army leads the way for NATO next generation rotorcraft


Colonel Paul Morris, Assistant Head Plans, Capability Air Manoeuvre, addressed the virtual International Military Helicopter Conference to outline further detail on how the British Army are leading NATO’s development of the Next Generation Rotorcraft Capability.

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British Army leads the way for NATO next generation rotorcraft The NGRC aims to replace medium multi-role helicopters currently in service, like the AW-101 pictured here (Picture source: Peng Chen)


The Next Generation Rotorcraft project is a NATO initiative which 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. 

In November 2020, the Defence Ministers of five NATO member nations - the UK, France, Germany, Greece and Italy - signed a Letter of Intent to develop an entirely new helicopter capability. These members will all benefit from this unique opportunity to ensure their nation’s requirements are fulfilled in this bespoke craft and benefit from the cost savings that this collaboration will bring.

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.

Like a number of other NATO members, we are due to see our medium helicopters reach the end of their life cycle in the next 15 years, with a subsequent need for replacements.

Army Headquarters-based Colonel Morris said: “The British Army is delighted to be leading NATO Project NGRC on behalf of UK Defence. It is a really exciting opportunity to develop a capability alongside our allies that will offer maximum interoperability and promises to deliver a step change in capability over our current medium helicopters.”

Project NGRC offers an opportunity for the UK, as the lead nation for the pre-concept phase, to be at the forefront of a major international venture, providing the future generation of medium lift across UK Defence and the wider Alliance, that will serve well into the second half of this century.