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Military Capabilities

Contenders wait on confirmation of Bundeswehr heavy-lift helo procurement

19 December 2017

The two primary contenders for Germany’s heavy-lift helicopter requirement are waiting on confirmation from the Bundeswehr that the project has indeed been signed off as reported.

The Bundeswehr is looking to replace the Luftwaffe’s ageing CH-53G-series helicopters (pictured) with either the Boeing CH-47F Chinook or Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion. (IHS Markit/Patrick Allen)The Bundeswehr is looking to replace the Luftwaffe’s ageing CH-53G-series helicopters (pictured) with either the Boeing CH-47F Chinook or Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion. (IHS Markit/Patrick Allen)

Both Boeing and Lockheed Martin confirmed to Jane’s on 19 December that neither has received notification from the German Ministry of Defence (MoD) that it has officially launched its project to replace the Luftwaffe’s ageing VFW-Sikorsky CH-53G-series helicopters with between 40 and 60 new platforms, as reported by the Reuters news agency the week prior.

Boeing, which is to offer its CH-47F Chinook, told Jane’s that while the company is waiting on the MoD to contact it directly, it has already signed contracts with nearly 100 German companies in anticipation of the tender, and that more domestic deals will likely follow in the event of a successful bid. Lockheed Martin, which is pitching the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion, said it will involve itself with German industry “to the maximum extent possible” around the life of the programme.

As previously reported by Jane’s , the Chinook and King Stallion are the only two platforms being considered by the Bundeswehr as it looks to replace the current 66 CH-53G/GS/GA helicopters from about 2022. As the support authority for the Bundeswehr’s helicopters, Airbus would participate in any future procurement of either helicopter type, most likely in certifying and qualifying the platform to German standards.

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