Germany has cancelled its Schwerer Transporthubschrauber (STH) heavy-lift helicopter requirement for the Luftwaffe, citing budgetary concerns with the planned multi-million Euro procurement.
The CH-53K (foreground) and CH-47F (background) that were competing the now-cancelled STH requirement both featured on the flightline at the ILA Airshow 2018 in Berlin. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)
In a statement released on 29 September, the Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg) said that the long-standing STH effort to replace the Luftwaffe’s 70 VFW-Sikorsky CH-53G-series Stallion helicopters with between 40 and 60 Boeing H-47 Chinook or Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion platforms was being halted as the expected capability could not be delivered within the allocated budget.
“We hereby inform you that the award procedure in the ‘Heavy Transport Helicopter (STH)’ project has been cancelled,” the BMVg said. “As part of the ongoing award process, it was recognised that the project would be unlikely to be realised within the allocated budget while meeting all requirements. The awarding authority of the Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the Federal Armed Forces assessed the available offers as uneconomical and, for this reason, cancelled the award procedure.”
As noted by the BMVg, the requirement will now be re-examined, meaning that the current (and already delayed) plan to have a type selection and contract signature in place in 2021 ahead of deliveries due from 2023-31 is no longer achievable.