Norway quits NH90 contract, requests full return

Denmark's COPENHAGEN Norway ended a 20-year deal with a French manufacturer for 14 marine helicopters, citing delays, inaccuracies, and time-consuming maintenance, the defence minister said Friday.

Defense Minister Bjrn Arild Gram says Norway will return the NH90 helicopters it has so far received and demands a full reimbursement of the $525 million it spent.

"No matter how hard our technicians work or how many components we order, the NH90 will never match the needs of the Norwegian Armed Forces," Arild Gram remarked.

NHIndustries, located in Aix-en-Provence, France, created the helicopter in the mid-1990s. Multiple nations operate the aircraft.

In 2001, Norway bought 14 helicopters for coast guard and anti-submarine warfare. Only eight have been delivered ready to operate since 2008.

The fleet is supposed to fly 3,900 hours per year, but in previous years it averaged barely 700.

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