Eurocopter, GKN Westland and Sikorsky are lining up to supply Finland and possibly neighbouring Scandinavian countries with up to 80 helicopters.

Finland plans to buy an unspecified number of utility transport helicopters to replace its Mil Mi-8s, and is expected to issue a request for proposals early in 1999.

Requirements for helicopters from the Scandinavian nations could result in an agreement to purchase a single core aircraft in different variants, giving considerable savings in procurement and support costs. Scandinavian governments have a history of cooperation on aircraft procurement.

Sweden has a requirement for a new anti-submarine warfare helicopter to replace its Vertol 107 fleet, and may also be interested in a tactical transport and search and rescue (SAR) machine. Denmark is also interested in a new SAR type.

Norway is already in the process of upgrading its Westland Lynx fleet to Lynx 100 standard as part of an agreement with GKN Westland.

GKN Westland confirms: "There could be a market for up to 80 helicopters. We will be stressing the versatility of the EH101 chosen by Canada, which has similar severe weather requirements to these countries."

The NH Industries NH90 is also likely to be on offer in utility and naval versions. Sikorsky will offer its UH-60 Black Hawk and SH-60 Seahawk, or the S-92 Helibus.

Source: Flight International