A third unhappy customer [second European] of the NHIndustries NH90 European helicopters is looming. The joint product of Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo, and Fokker Aerostructures will soon forget about Sweden.
Australia and Norway have already forgotten about NH90. Australia was the first in 2021 when it gave up the services of the Euro-chopper. Australian authorities then called the helicopter “sick”. Australia continues to claim that it did not receive what was promised by the manufacturer. I.e. the helicopter does not meet the ordered performance.
Norway was the first European country to decide to forget about NH90. Oslo is now reportedly looking at a replacement, and according to sources, although the information has not been confirmed, it will be the Sikorsky MH-60 Sea Hawk. More or less, Canberra made a similar decision, “discarding” the NH90 and settling on the Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk.
It is the UH-60M Black Hawk that may favor Sweden over its competitor. Apparently, confidence is falling slowly but gradually and is regulated by NHIndustries NH90, perhaps due to production and delivery delays. However, NHIndustries NH90 still has the trust of its other customers, including Germany and France. Perhaps the two strong European economies were temporarily won over by NHIndustries after the company announced that it would take full responsibility for maintaining a constant flow of spare parts to them.
Although a new contract was recently announced in mid-summer to improve the performance of the NH90 helicopter, Sweden will not give it a second chance. The Swedes may be learning from the mistakes of the Norwegians, who accused NHIndustries of 20 years of delays, delays, mistakes, and taking too long to resolve.
There is a war in Sweden’s backyard [Ukraine-Russia] and Stockholm is determined to ensure its security, especially since it is expected to become a full member of NATO. Sweden made the decision soon, on November 1st. Again because of NHIndustries broken promises. In 2008, Sweden was to have a fully operational NH90 fleet. Today is 2023 and Sweden does not have a fully operational NH90 fleet.
However, Sweden has been operating the UH-60M Black Hawk for quite some time, and according to local senior officers [Major General Carl-Johan Edstrom], the American chopper is doing very well. A statement that sounds like a clear ancestor of what Stockholm is about to order.
The US clearly smelled the blood of the “competitor” and decided to act. Steady marketing has been conducted for years by Sikorsky in the European markets. Something happened – Sikorsky is taking action to expand the production of the UH-60M, as well as its influence. Later this year, even the company expects the 5,000th UH-60 Black Hawk to roll off the production line.
If we just compare the figures of the produced quantities of the two helicopters, it becomes clear which one is preferable. 471 units have been produced by NHIndustries NH90 to date. Apparently, Sikorsky will continue to “cut meat” from the competition, and the loss of NHIndustries is a guaranteed gain for Sikorsky.