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Boeing, Airbus team up for Germany’s heavy-lift helicopter bid

H-47 STH for Germany
Photo: Airbus

Boeing and Airbus Helicopters have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which will see the two sides work together on offering the H-47 Chinook for Germany’s Schwerer Transporthubschrauber (STH) heavy-lift helicopter procurement program.

Germany previously put a stop to the procurement process after assessing that offers that had been submitted by Lockheed Martin and Boeing – the only two known competitors in the program at the time – turned out to be more expensive than expected.

Germany restarted the competition in December 2021, after a court ruled against Lockheed’s appeal that the cancellation of the process had been unlawful.

The new partnership between Boeing and Airbus aims at bolstering German defense readiness while supporting German industry and economic growth, the company said announcing the teaming agreement.

“We are pleased that Airbus Helicopters has joined our team of strategic partners on the H-47 Chinook program for Germany, and together we will provide the strongest offering to the Bundeswehr,” said Mark Cherry, Boeing vice president and general manager, Vertical Lift programs. “The Chinook has been the preferred heavy-lift helicopter in Europe for decades and a cornerstone of all kinds of NATO operations. It is the only heavy-lift capable of providing Germany immediate interoperability with allied nations and is significantly more powerful, versatile and agile than any other aircraft in its class.”

The partnership agreement builds on the existing Chinook partnership team consisting of AERO-Bildung GmbH, CAE Elektronik GmbH, ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH, Lufthansa Technik, Honeywell Aerospace and Rolls-Royce Deutschland.

“Building on decades of experience as a partner of the Bundeswehr, Airbus Helicopters is excited to join Boeing’s Chinook Germany industry team and to partner with Boeing on delivering maximum operational availability to the Bundeswehr,” said Wolfgang Schoder, General Manager of Airbus Helicopters in Germany. “The H-47 Chinook is a proven, mature program in service with many of our allies, and is the optimum solution for Germany with an excellent price-performance ratio.”

Germany expects to buy between 44 and 65 heavy-lift helicopters to replace its current fleet of CH-53s.