Lockheed Wins NATO Next-Gen Rotorcraft OSA Study Contract

NATO’s procurement agency has awarded Lockheed Martin the third Next Generation Rotorcraft Capability (NGRC) Programme Open System Architecture (OSA) study contract.

It includes identifying, analyzing, and comparing potential OSA concepts for NGRC capability requirements.

“Its outcome will enrich NSPA’s knowledge and understanding of relevant OSAs and their enabling digital ecosystems to help inform assessment of future integrated platform concept design reviews,” the NATO Support and Procurement Agency stated.

Next-Gen Rotorcraft Project

France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and the UK launched the NGRC project in 2020 as a potential replacement of their military rotorcraft fleet in 15 to 20 years.

Two years later, the countries, in addition to the Netherlands, launched the NGRC concept stage to define the project requirements within three years.

The latest available technologies, such as “hybrid and electric propulsion, a systematic open system architecture, and the delivery of radically improved flight characteristics” will shape the requirements.

Initial Expected Features

The NGRC’s initial expected capabilities include an “optionally unmanned/remotely piloted, modular open systems approach, inclusive of the digital backbone and AI aided multi-sensor fusion.”

The medium-lift craft will cost around 35 million euros ($37 million) with an average flight cost of up to 10,000 euros ($10,500).

Expected lifting capacity is pegged at 4,000 kilograms (8,818 pounds) with a maximum take-off weight of 10,000 to 17,000 kilograms (22,046 to 37,478 pounds).

Additional features include a range of at least 900 nautical miles (1,650 kilometers/1,025 miles), endurance of up to eight hours with range tanks, and a cruising speed of over 220 knots (407 kilometers/253 miles per hour).

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