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The Search for a Heavier Fleet Continues with Germany


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The Germany defense ministry is looking to replace their fleet of CH-53D Sea Stallions Heavy Helicopters. The Sea Stallions have served the Germans since the late 1960s when they were first introduced. Boeing and Sikorsky are top prospects for the prime supplier for these heavy duty helicopters. All a part of the German Heavy Transport Helicopter Program this deal has an estimated cost of €3 billion ($3.35 billion).

The Germans are looking for a fleet that in later years will be adequate for aerial refueling and completing search-and-rescue missions efficiently. Boeing is offering their CH-47F Chinook heavy extended helicopter. This model is equipped with enlarged fuel tanks and a refueling probe for in air fueling. The CH-47F is said to be a “low risk and proven capability“ since Germans neighbors and NATO countries already manage the same model.

Sirkorsky aircraft manufacturer has chosen to Promote their CH-53 helicopter for the German Ministry of defense. The CH-53 is also equipped with the aerial fueling probe and carries a huge reputation behind it. In the past they have sold about 200 Helicopters to the US Marines and hope to sell an additional 100 additional aircraft during their planned 11-year production time. The CH-53K large size means it would be able to accommodate several German armored vehicles, including the Fennek armored reconnaissance vehicle, as well as the Wiesel (Weasel) air-portable light tank, which is regularly transported on German CH-53s.” Sirkorsky has stated that would be well with working with the German industry as it has in the past for the CH-53 program.

Boeings CH-47F has other attributes to offer but might have an issue with cabin space needed for armed vehicles to fit precisely. Boeing claims the Chinook can also carry the Wiesel internally, but has not tested this ability. Several other vehicles would have to be carried externally due to limited cabin space.


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