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ILA 2022: Germany seeks increased helicopter interoperability with Netherlands

A German Army H145 on static display at ILA 2022. With both Germany and the Netherlands looking for a new training helicopter, the H145 is a likely candidate. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

The recent integration of the Netherlands into the German Division Schnelle Kräfte (DSK) Rapid Forces Division is driving a desire to maximise the commonality and interoperability of equipment, especially helicopters.

Speaking ahead of the ILA Berlin Air Show under the Chatham House Rule, a senior official noted this bilateral ambition, saying that the ideal end state is for both countries to field helicopters that are as close as possible to each other's, or even identical, so as to boost interoperability.

“We are thinking of adding a working group [to the DSK] to look at procurement, and that's because it has become obvious that equipment and vehicles should […] boost interoperability,” the official said ahead of the ILA Berlin Air Show in June. “[The DSK is] capability-orientated and independent of the providing nation, and procedures, licences, qualifications, certificates and, in the best case, complete capabilities and weapon systems have to be comparable and mutually accepted, or better even identical.”

As part of this intention to field common platforms, both countries are seeking a new training helicopter type. While the official did not name a particular aircraft, the briefing slide he presented showed an Airbus Helicopters H145 of the type already in service with the German Army.

The German and the Dutch governments made their initial political commitment to integrating the two countries into the DSK in 2012, with the agreement being implemented in 2013. Integration of 11 (Netherlands) Air Assault Brigade into the DSK began in the middle of 2014, with the objective of establishing a multinational task force under a unified command for 2019.

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