Published 27 February 2024

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The next stage of the New Medium Helicopter (NMH) competition is underway.

We have issued the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) to three bidders in the running to provide UK Armed forces with a new rotary-wing capability.

The NMH programme is procuring a modern, medium-lift support helicopter which will deliver up to five rotary wing requirements using a single aircraft type.

This will improve efficiency and operational flexibility, positively impacting ongoing and future operational capability.

Once in service, it will be capable of operating in all environments in support of a broad spectrum of Defence tasks, from warfighting to humanitarian efforts and operations around the world.

The ITN was announced by James Cartlidge, Minister for Defence Procurement, at the International Military Helicopter conference in London.

The three bidders – Airbus Helicopters UK, Leonardo Helicopters UK and Lockheed Martin UK – will now compile their bids to be evaluated by DE&S in 2025 when, subject to Government approvals, a contract award is anticipated.

Mr Cartlidge said:

“The New Medium Helicopter will provide essential support to our military operations, and we’re pleased to have reached this next important stage of the programme.

“The programme’s competition includes essential criteria that are key to securing vital rotary wing Operational Independence, allowing us to respond swiftly to emerging threats in a highly contested world.”

The NMH competition will include essential criteria including design, production, manufacture and, importantly, export potential.

This means the NMH contract will secure the vital operational independence the UK requires, as well as investing in UK skills for the long-term and demonstrates the UK Government’s commitment to the Defence & Security Industrial Strategy.