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STH – Here We Go

44-60 Luftwaffe helos for €5.6 billion by 2032

The Boeing CH-47 CHINOOK and the Sikorsky (a Lockheed Martin company) CH-53K King STALLION have finally formally responded to the German Armed Forces’ (Bundeswehr) heavy-lift helicopter programme (STH), replacing the 70 in-service CH-53G/GS/GA STALLION, which are supposed to retire starting 2025, and fully procured by end 2032.

On 28 February, the German Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the Federal Armed Forces (BAAINBw) published a tender notice for STH, a requirement that will see the Bundeswehr procuring between 44 and 60 helicopters for the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) over an eight-year delivery period for €5.6 billion.

The tender asks for the helicopter to be capable of transporting personnel (30 soldiers at 110kg each) and equipment and have a maximum take-off weight of 20t+, to be carried at 125 nautical miles. The rotorcraft should be fielded between 2023 and 2031, after a final contract award in 2021. Included in the contract are some maintenance, repair, and overhaul, as well as training and simulators.

Just like the German heavy lifters in service, STH will be assigned to Luftwaffe 64 (HSG 64) Helicopter Squadron at Holzdorf and Laupheim air bases.

CH-47 partners include: AERO-Bildung, CAE, Diehl, Liebherr Aerospace, Rockwell Collins Deutschland, Rolls-Royce, Aircraft Philipp, Cotesa Composites, Honeywell Deutschland and Reiser (details here)

CH-53K partners include: Rheinmetall, MTU, ZF Luftfahrttechnik GmbH, Autoflug, HYDRO Systems, Collins Aerospace, Vincorion, Hensoldt, Liebherr and Rohde & Schwarz (details here).



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