Boeing and Airbus join forces on Germany’s heavy lift helicopter programme

Aviation giants Boeing and Airbus Helicopters signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on March 25 to commence a partnership on the H-47 Chinook helicopter for Germany.

The partnership was signed in support of Germany’s Schwerer Transporthubschrauber (STH) heavy-lift helicopter requirements to replace its current fleet of Sikorsky CH-53GSs. The agreement develops on an already existing chinook partnership team including, AERO-Bildung, CAE, ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik, Lufthansa Technik AG, Honeywell Aerospace and Rolls-Royce Deutschland.

A concept image of the H-47 Chinook displaying German colours. Boeing


Wolfgang Schoder, general manager of Airbus Helicopters in Germany, said: “Building on decades of experience as a partner of the Bundeswehr, Airbus Helicopters is excited to join Boeing’s Chinook Germany industry team and to partner with Boeing on delivering maximum operational availability to the Bundeswehr.

 “The H-47 Chinook is a proven, mature programme in service with many of our allies, and is the optimum solution for Germany with an excellent price-performance ratio,” Schoder concluded.

After signing the MOU, both manufacturers will look to deliver an advanced capability as part of the Chinook offering to Germany, according to a March 25 release. They also aim to increase German defence readiness whilst simultaneously supporting the German economy.

Boeing and Airbus
Torbjorn Sjogren, Vice President, Boeing Global Services, International Government & Defence and Wolfgang Schoder, General Manager of Airbus Helicopters in Germany, signing the MoU in Philadelphia. Boeing

German industry companies will work with the US company, Boeing on aircraft sustainment throughout the H-47 programme. This includes post-delivery modifications and installations, aircraft maintenance, supply chain, training, and logistical support, as well as the potential for sub-systems maintenance Repair and overhaul work.

Michael Haidinger, president of Boeing Germany, added: “The partnership with Airbus Helicopters reaffirms our commitment to strengthen cooperation with German industry. With our Chinook offering and together with our German industry partners, we will create more than 500 highly skilled jobs in-country, all in direct support of the Bundeswehr’s heavy-lift mission requirements.”

The H-47 chinook for Germany comes as a competition for Sikorsky's CH-53K King Stallion in Germany's STH. The replacement programme which was launched in 2018, cancelled in 2020, but later relaunched in 2021 is to seek replacements of Germany's current CH-53GS helicopters with roughly 40-60 Chinooks or King Stallion helicopters.



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