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NATO starts research on future helicopters

Published first tender for studies on new engine architecture

The first conceptual study that will contribute to the design of a new generation military helicopter, according to the provisions of the Next-Generation Rotorcraft Capability (NGRC) program of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), will start soon. This is an initiative launched last year following an agreement between the six member countries of the Atlantic Alliance.

This includes "transmission systems, propulsion and flight control as a consequence, as well as supplying energy to on-board and accessory-auxiliary systems, both in flight and on the ground". "Any potential powertrain conceptual or technological solution that goes beyond established conventional solutions, whether based on emerging new technologies or an evolution of existing technologies, may be considered 'new'", on read in a note.

The initiative is coordinated by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (Nspa), which on July 4 launched the first tender (which will end on September 1st) which aims to identify a supplier to conduct research on a new engine. Subsequently, the first of the five conceptual studies will start, from which the designers of the future medium or heavy class helicopter will draw fundamental information.

The standards and performance of the new engine and future helicopter defined by Ngrc are as follows: an engine of at least 3000 hp (2240 kW); a range of 1650 km in combat configuration and about 600 km in standard configuration; a five-hour endurance with a full crew aboard and a one-ton payload; a cruising speed of 407 km/h or more; a maximum take-off weight between 10 and 17 tons.

Gic - 1252386

AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency