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Germany buys Boeing Chinook helicopters to replace Sikorsky fleet

Chinook Helicopter. (Photo: Reuters)

“With this model, we are increasing our ability to cooperate in Europe,” said German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, without detailing the price. helicopter Chinook in his speech to the German Bundestag (Bundestag) on ​​June 1.

According to previous planning data, the Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) is expected to purchase between 45 and 60 heavy helicopters for around 4 billion Euros ($4.29 billion), the planes will be delivered. from 2023 to 2029.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in a major policy shift for the country after decades of attrition, pledged in February to sharply increase defense spending and spend 100 billion euros in the Bundeswehr after Russia conducts special military operation in Ukraine.

With €100 billion, Chancellor Scholz aims to bring the Bundeswehr’s weapons and equipment back to standard after decades of attrition following the end of the Cold War.

The bulk of the special fund, about 40 billion euros, will be spent on air capabilities, according to a draft released by Reuters and defense sources.

Germany buys Boeing Chinook helicopters to replace Sikorsky fleet - Photo 1.

Sikorsky CH-53K Helicopter. (Image: Getty Images)

An important argument for choosing the Chinook is that it is used globally, German Army Chief of Staff Eberhard Zorn told reporters.

More than 500 Chinooks are in use by the US military and forces in Europe. This means that spare parts for this type of aircraft are readily available, so the helicopter can last for a long time.

Zorn said the CH-53K aircraft is only used by the US Marines and Israel.

The decision marks a blow to Boeing’s rival Lockheed Martin, which has been competing for the order from Germany.

Boeing, with its Chinook-branded parallel-folding fuselage, and Lockheed Martin, with its Sikorsky CH-53K, are the only Western companies to supply this military helicopter.

In recent years, the Bundeswehr has repeatedly delayed its decision to purchase new heavy helicopters. The German CH-53 squadron is old and has been flying since the 1970s, having participated in missions in Afghanistan.

The operational process has revealed shortcomings due to the aging helicopter, which has to carry out a lot of maintenance work necessary to keep this squadron able to maintain flight.

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