The US State Department has approved the potential sale of CH-47F Chinook heavy lift helicopters to Germany for an estimated $8.5 billion.
The approval comes after Germany revealed in April last that it had chosen the Boeing helicopter over Sikorsky-built CH-53K as replacement for the ageing CH-53G helicopters currently in service.
According to reports from last year, Germany expected to spend around 5 billion euros ($5.4B) for the purchase.
The State Department put the price tag for 60 CH-47F Block II helicopters with customer-unique modifications at over $8 billion. In addition to the helicopters, the deal would include missile warning systems, identification friend or foe transponders, air-to-air refueling probes, M134 gun mounts, and electro optical infrared sensors among other equipment.
The package would also include mission equipment such as jungle penetrators, litter baskets, Jacob’s ladders, and the airborne tactical extraction platform (AirTEP), a tool for special operations forces that can extract up to 10 operators at once.
“The proposed sale will improve Germany’s heavy lift capability. Germany intends to use this enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats. Germany will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment and services into its armed forces,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in its notice of the potential sale to Congress.
Boeing worked with Airbus on swaying Germany’s decision in its favor. The project would involve a number of German companies, including AERO-Bildung GmbH, CAE Elektronik GmbH, ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH, Lufthansa Technik, Honeywell Aerospace and Rolls-Royce Deutschland.
Germany expects to start receiving the new helicopters by 2025 or 2026.