WorldConflict inside NATO: Norway returns Airbus military helicopters and...

Conflict inside NATO: Norway returns Airbus military helicopters and asks for refund

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Norway announced that the country will ask for a refund for the fleet of NH90 military helicopters from Airbus. Airbus says that this decision has is legally unfounded.

Norway will return the NH90 military helicopters the country ordered from Airbus because they are either unreliable or they were delivered late, the defense secretary said on Friday.

The scandal regarding the military helicopters built by Airbus started in 2016 when an EC225 Super Puma built by Airbus Helicopters crashed on a small island near the coast of Norway while returning from an oil platform in the Northern Sea.

All 13 passengers of the helicopter ( 11 Norwegian citizens, one British and one Italian ) lost their lives.

Norway said on Friday that the country will ask for a refund of $523 million plus interest and other costs from NHIndustries, owned by Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo and Fokked Aerostructures in Holland.

“Regardless how many hours our technicians work and how many parts we order, the NH90 will never be able to fulfill the requirements of our armed forces” Bjoern Arild Gram, the Norway Minister of Defence said in a press conference.

The manufacturer said it is extremely disappointment with this decision. “NHIndustries thinks this measure is legally unfounded” a press statement says.

The company said it was not allowed the possibility of discussing the most recent proposal made to improve the availability of the NH90 military helicopter or to approach the specific requirements of Norway.

Airbus shares dropped by less than 1%.

The initial contract between Airbus and Norway for 14 helicopters was signed in 2001 but Norway only received 8 so far.

“We have a helicopter that does not work as it should” General Eirik Kristoffersen, who serves as the head of the Norwegian Armed Forces, said.

Even so, NHIndustries said that the company delivered 13 out of the 14 helicopters, and the 14th was ready to be delivered, which means that the company was close to finalize the initial contract.

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