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Germany launches the renewal of its heavy helicopters


The BAAINBw officially invites prospective candidates for the Schwere Transporthubschrauber (STH) program, which is considering the replacement of the 80 CH-53GA / GS / GE operated by the Luftwaffe and whose withdrawal will start in 2025.


Germany launches the renewal of its heavy helicopters A German CH-53G (Picture source: Air Recognition)


Expected in May, then December 2018, this phase of the RFP is now open to candidates able to demonstrate their experience in the design and production of a transport helicopter (certified for the transport of equipment and personnel) maximum take-off weight of more than 20 tonnes.

Today, only two platforms, both American, are able to meet this criterion. Sikorsky's CH-53K and Boeing's CH-47F Chinook.

The winner will obtain the delivery of 44 to 60 new platforms for an estimated budget of € 5.6bn. Apart from the production and delivery of the helicopters, the contract will include a component of MCO as well as the training of pilots and technicians during the 42 years of life of the STH program. Like its predecessor, the helicopter will be operated by the Luftwaffe 64 (HSG 64) Helicopter Squadron deployed at the Holzdorf and Laupheim airbases.

The deadline for the submission of tenders is 27 May. The lucky winner (s) authorized to participate in the competition will be announced on June 24th. The accumulated delay should not, in principle, have an impact on the calendar, which provides for the signature of a contract with the winning industrialist by 2021, with a view to deliveries to be spread out between 2023 and 2031.