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Germany selects Chinook for heavy-lift helo requirement

With Germany's STH announcement, this mocked-up image of a Chinook in Luftwaffe markings is set to become a reality. (Boeing)

The long-standing Schwerer Transporthubschrauber (STH) competition to furnish Germany with a new heavy-lift helicopter has been settled, with the Bundeswehr announcing on 1 June that the Boeing CH-47F Chinook is the winner.

The requirement to replace the Luftwaffe's 70 VFW-Sikorsky CH-53G-series Stallions dates back to the early 2000s, with the STH competition in its current form having been stopped and started since 2015. The Luftwaffe is looking to replace 70 CH-53G-series Stallions with between 40 and 60 new helicopters under a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) deal valued at EUR5 billion (USD5.49 billion).

“With this model, we are strengthening our ability to co-operate in Europe. It's modern, proven, and already being used by NATO partners,” the Bundeswehr said, adding that the selection has to be approved by the German parliament.

The decision to go with the Chinook means that the Bundeswehr has opted against the Lockheed Martin CH-53K King Stallion. While the Bundeswehr has not yet published the reasoning behind its decision, as it alluded to in its statement interoperability with NATO allies that operate the Chinook would have been a key factor.

In terms of their respective offerings, Boeing offered the Extended Range variant of its CH-47F Chinook, to be fitted with an aerial-refuelling probe. The company's industrial offering comprises a partnership with Airbus Helicopters as part of a wider team that includes Aero-Bildung, CAE, Aircraft Philipp, Collins Aerospace, Cotesa Composites, Diehl Defence, Honeywell Aerospace, Liebherr, Reiser, and Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd.

Although the STH requirements have never been publicly disclosed, Janes

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