Germany GAF CH 47F Chinook 640Chinook helicopters for German Air Force

By the end of April 2022, government sources reported that the German government decided to buy sixty Boeing CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters valued at 5 billion euros (USD 5,4 billion). However, at that moment this deal was not confirmed and a spokesperson for the German Defence Ministry simply said no decision on helicopter purchases had been made yet.

Now, on Wednesday 1 June 2022, the German Government announced that Boeing’s CH-47F Chinook has been selected for its heavy transport helicopter programme (STH, Schwerer Transporthubschrauber).

The new helicopters will replace the Luftwaffe (GAF, German Air Force) CH-53 Sea Stallions, which are due to be retired by 2030. First Chinook deliveries are expected in 2025-2026. According to the Scramble Magazine database, the GAF has around 80 CH-53s in its active inventory.

Boeing and Airbus Helicopters came together in March to pitch the CH-47F Chinook for the heavy transport helicopter programme (STH, Schwerer Transporthubschrauber). The aircraft edged out Sikorsky-Rheinmetall’s CH-53K King Stallion to clinch the contract. In September 2020, the German Defence Ministry cancelled the running CH-53 replacement programme after finding that offers from the American firms Boeing and Lockheed Martin were too expensive.

The partnership between Boeing and Airbus Helicopters includes a consortium of German firms including AERO-Bildung GmbH, CAE Elektronik GmbH, ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH, Lufthansa Technik, Honeywell Aerospace and Rolls-Royce Deutschland.

The German Defence Minister, Christine Lambrecht, informed the parliament of the decision in May. The funding for the purchase will come from the special military fund of 100 billion euros (USD 106 billion) the country announced following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Image by Boeing

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