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Update – IMH 2024: Germany places first contract for Chinook buy, sets out plans for entry into service

Germany is acquiring 60 Chinook helicopters, for which the first engine contract has now been placed. (Boeing via Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Germany has placed the first award related to its procurement of Boeing CH-47F Block II Chinook Standard Range (SR) air-to-air refuelling (AAR)-capable heavy-lift helicopters, contracting Honeywell to provide the engines.

Announced on 26 February, the award covers 105 T55-GA-714A engines for the EUR6.98 billion (USD7.57 billion) Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme to deliver 60 Chinook ER helicopters to the Luftwaffe.

News of the first award came about eight months after the Budget Committee of the German parliament approved the Chinook procurement in early July 2023, and 10 months after it was approved by the US government in May 2023. The deal is being financed with funds from the EUR100 billion Bundeswehr special fund.

With this deal in place, the Luftwaffe is proceeding with its plans to introduce the type into service from 2027. Speaking at the IQPC International Military Helicopter (IMH) 2024 conference in London on 28 February, Colonel Christian Guntsch, adviser to the chief of the Luftwaffe for the CH-47F, spelled out the work now being prepared, as well as the timeline for fielding the type.

“The Chinook is one of the three main priorities for the Luftwaffe, with the others being the F-35 [fifth-generation combat aircraft] and the Arrow 3 [ground-based air-defence system]. With the CH-53 [heavy-lift helicopter] set to go out of service in 2030, we will have about three years from when the first Chinooks arrive [in 2027] to fully build up that capability,” Col Guntsch said.

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