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Germany to base Arrow and Chinooks in Holzdorf

Germany's AWS will be based at Holzdorf Air Base starting in 2025. (IAI)

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius visited Holzdorf Air Base, 100 km south of Berlin, on 16 October, where Germany will base components of the Luftwaffe's Arrow Weapon System (AWS) and CH-47F Chinook helicopters.

Pistorius told journalists that Arrow would be based in Holzdorf starting in 2025, although he did not know if the conflict between Israel and Hamas would have an impact on production of the system. He said other locations in southern and northern Germany were being explored so as not to concentrate Germany's AWS in Holzdorf and make it more vulnerable.

Regarding the CH-47, Pistorius said 60 of the helicopters would be based at Holzdorf, starting with three in 2027, by when the CH-53s they are replacing are planned to be phased out.

Pistorius also spoke of the need to build the infrastructure for Arrow and the Chinooks as quickly as possible in Holzdorf, with the federal government spending EUR500 million (USD527 million) and the state of Brandenburg EUR1 billion by 2029. The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on its website on 16 October that the infrastructure at Holzdorf needs to be upgraded or created to accommodate the AWS's powerful radars and to provide additional weather-protected stands and a new maintenance hall for the CH-47s.

The German MoD has planned an initial operational capability (IOC) for the AWS by the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2025 and a full operational capability (FOC) in 2030.

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