In 2017, the German Ministry of Defense launched a procedure to purchase 45 to 60 new heavy transport helicopters [HTL] to replace the approximately sixty CH-53G “Stallion” in service with the Bundeswehr since the early 1970s. Two manufacturers were called upon: Sikorsky [filiale de Lockheed-Martin] for the CH-53K King Stallion and Boeing for the CH-47 Chinook. A choice would be announced in 2020.
In that year, however, it was decided to cancel this procedure. “It was estimated that the project would have little chance of being realized within the limits of the planned budget, while meeting the stated requirements,” argued the German Defense Ministry. According to the press on the other side of the Rhine, the purchase and ownership costs were then estimated at 5.6 billion euros.
The program “Schwerer Transporthubschrauber” [STH] was finally relaunched in January 2021, with the same candidates. And to increase its chances of success, after Berlin’s decision to forgo the purchase of 30 F/A-18 Super Hornets and 15 E/A-18 Growlers, Boeing has partnered with Airbus Helicopters to refine the offer. H-47 Chinook. A Memorandum of Understanding between the two manufacturers was signed on March 25.
“Building on decades of experience as a partner of the Bundeswehr, Airbus Helicopters is pleased to join the ‘Chinook Germany’ team and work with Boeing to deliver maximum operational readiness to the German armed forces,” said Wolfgang Schoder , Managing Director of Airbus Helicopters. in Germany. “The H-47 Chinook is a tried and true aircraft used by many allies. It is the optimal solution for Germany, with an excellent price-quality ratio,” he insisted.
“We are delighted that Airbus Helicopters has joined our team of strategic partners for the H-47 Chinook program for Germany, and together we will make the Bundeswehr the strongest offer,” said Mark Cherry, vice president and general manager of Boeing in charge of the “helicopters” department.
For this offer, the American group calls on several other German partners, including AERO-Bildung GmbH, CAE Elektronik GmbH, ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH, Lufthansa Technik, Honeywell Aerospace and Rolls-Royce Deutschland. And this to fulfill its commitment to work with industry across the Rhine on maintenance in operational condition [MCO] H-47 Chinook.
“Thanks to our offer and in collaboration with our German industrial partners, we will create more than 500 highly skilled jobs in the country, all in direct support of the demands of the Bundeswehr’s heavy transport missions,” argued the Dr. Michael Haidinger, President of Boeing Germany.