US defense contractors Boeing and Lockheed Martin have submitted their bids in response to an invitation to tender for Germany’s new heavy lift helicopter program.
Boeing is offering its H-47 Chinook while Lockheed Martin, who has teamed up with German defense major Rheinmetall, is offering the Sikorsky CH-53K “King Stallion” helicopter.
Germany is expected to select a winner of the Schwerer Transporthubschrauber (STH) program in 2021. The Federal Office of Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support of the Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) is expected to issue a contract for the construction of between 44 and 65 aircraft.
Sikorsky and Rheinmetall have formed an STH project team of more than 10 German companies, which includes MTU Aero Engines, Autoflug GmbH and Hydro Systems KG with the aim of securing the contract for themselves. Should the bid is successful, the companies are also intending to set up a logistics hub and a STH fleet support center at Leipzig/Halle Airport.
The chosen aircraft will replace the CH-53 helicopter currently in service with the German Armed Forces.
Deliveries of helicopters as part of the STH program are expected to start by 2024 while the final aircraft is to be delivered by 2032. The country has earmarked 5.6 billion euros for the project.