Airbus Broughton: MoD picks four competitors to fight for £1.2bn military helicopter contract
Airbus is one of four manufacturers to move to the next phase of a £1 billion Ministry of Defence (MoD) contract to supply new military helicopters.
Airbus will assemble the new helicopter at its Broughton site if it wins the huge contract.
The UK government invited bids for the New Medium Helicopter (NMH) requirement to replace its fleet of Puma HC2 and three British Army-operated types in May.
Airbus’ military variant of the H175 helicopter has been taken forward to the next stage of the procurement process as have Boeing, Leonardo and Lockheed Martin’s helicopters.
According to breakingdefense.com the four manufacturers were notified on Oct. 31 that they had successfully passed the pre-qualification assessment, those excluded include Bell and AceHawk Aerospace.
“The second half of the competition, in which we will ask the selected suppliers to provide more detailed responses, is due to be launched later this financial year,” added a MoD spokesperson in a statement this week.
The contract is for a maximum of 44 aircraft to replace the existing fleet of RAF Puma HC2, Bell 412 Griffin and the British Army’s fleets of Bell 212 and Airbus AS365 Dauphin helicopters.
If chosen, Airbus would use its Broughton site as the location of a final assembly line for the H175M creating hundreds of jobs, Airbus would also export this model globally from the U.K.
The H175M is designed to cover a wide range of typical missions such as Utility/Troop transport, Special Operations, Medical Evacuation, Command Control and Combat SAR, depending on the list of mission optional items the customer selects.
The size of the prize locally goes beyond the value of the MoD contract.
The creation of an H175M production facility at Broughton is a critical part of the Airbus proposal to the UK Government, maximising social value from the project.
A new H175M manufacturing facility at Airbus Broughton will have the potential to bring hundreds of highly skilled new jobs to the region both directly and within the supply chain.
The UK Government will announce the NMH winner in 2023 with the first delivery and entry into service in 2025 in what has been described as an “accelerated schedule.”
That does however depend on the MoD’s timetable for retiring and replacing the Puma which has not yet been fully announced.
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