The German government has released a draft tender for the Bundeswehr’s Schwerer Transporthubschrauber (STH) heavy-lift helicopter requirement that will mark another step forward for replacing the aging fleet of CH-53 heavy transport helicopters.
Issued by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support on 28 February, a tender notice covers procuring 44-60 helicopters for the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) over an eight-year delivery period.
According to tender documents, the future helicopter should be capable of transporting personnel and equipment and have a maximum take-off weight greater than 20 tons. Only two offers can meet these requirements: the Boeing with its CH-47E and Lockheed with CH-53K King Stallion helicopter.
Boeing’s CH-47 Chinook, already used by eight other NATO countries, will compete against Lockheed’s Sikorsky CH-53K, a redesigned version of the CH-53G that Germany now flies. Israel is also considering buying 20 of the Lockheed aircraft.
Some officials favor the CH-47 which they say is combat-proven and cheaper, but others say the larger CH-53K would allow growth in future missions.
Bids for the nearly $6.4 billion program are due by May 27. The Luftwaffe — the German Air Force — is to field 44 to 60 STHs between 2023 and 2031 after a final contract award in 2021. Included in the contract value are some maintenance, repair, and overhaul, as well as the training of pilots and technicians.You can report grammatical or factual errors using the online feedback form.