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German Industrial Partnership for Heavy-Lift Helicopter Expands

Reiser Simulation and Training Joins Industry Team

Reiser Simulation and Training has joined the growing team led by Sikorsky and Rheinmetall to address the Bundeswehr’s heavy-lift helicopter programme with the CH-53K KING STALLION aircraft.

The team of leading German technology companies also includes Autoflug, Collins Aerospace, Hensoldt, HYDRO Systems, MTU Aero Engines, Rohde & Schwarz, Vincorion, ZFL and now Reiser. “We have been working intensively and in close coordination to develop a concept on how to best operate and maintain the CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter. The German industry is the perfect partner for this and guarantees the greatest possible degree of independence from foreign companies. We are all the more pleased that we have recently been able to win another exclusive partner,” commented Christian Albrecht, International Business Development Manager.

Mike Schmidt, Managing Director of Rheinmetall Aviation Services GmbH, added “Reiser Simulation and Training GmbH is a proven specialist in the German aviation industry. Rheinmetall and Reiser will combine their technological experience in the field of training and simulation and together provide a high-quality offering that meets all the standards of the Bundeswehr,” citing the existing successful cooperation between Rheinmetall and Reiser on the NH90 SEA LION transport helicopter as an example.

Having cancelled what was then known as the STH (heavy-lift helicopter) tender last year, the German MoD is currently soliciting bids from the former competitors via the US Foreign Military Sales process, which typically provides for purchase of a basic version of an aircraft. In the case of the CH-53K, the basic version already fulfils all the Bundeswehr’s relevant mission requirements. A major reason for this lies in the CH-53K’s air-to-air refuelling capability, which is available as standard and which greatly expands the aircrafts operational radius.

The substantial participation of numerous German companies also underlines the importance of the project for Germany as an industrial location. Should the Bundeswehr procure the helicopter, a large part of the value creation of the CH-53K would take place in Germany, leading to new long-term jobs in the high-tech sector and an important transfer of know-how.

Reiser will contribute its expertise in the field of training and simulation to the project – especially in simulation and technical solutions for training maintenance personnel. The company is a proven partner for Bundeswehr training systems, for example in the NH90 project for the army and navy as well as for the air force’s EUROFIGHTERs. The company thus ideally complements Rheinmetall’s simulation expertise in the STH project.

Now is exactly the right time to join the project, explained Dr Roman Sperl, Managing Director of Reiser Simulation and Training GmbH. “We are experienced in working with Rheinmetall and together we will contribute to ensuring maximum operational readiness of the CH-53K […] This helicopter sets a whole new technological standard. In our view, the Bundeswehr is well advised to choose the most innovative product and the best German industrial team.”

The KING STALLION is currently the most modern, intelligent and powerful heavy-lift helicopter on the market. Series production of the CH-53K in the US is progressing according to plan, with over 30 aircraft currently in various stages of production. The first CH-53K is scheduled to enter service in 2023/24. The aircraft recently successfully completed a two-year series of tests, including extensive fly-by-wire tests, sea trials and air-to-air refuelling, as well as further exercises under operational conditions. The US programme is now moving into a training period for the aircrews and technicians who will be involved in operational testing in spring.

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