It was launched in 2017 to replace sixty heavy lift helicopters [HTL] Bundeswehr CH-53G, tender for the “Schwerer Transporthubschrauber” program [STH] it was canceled three years later, when only two manufacturers had been solicited, namely Boeing [CH-47F Chinook] and Sikorky/Lockheed-Martin [CH-53K King Stallion]. The reason given is that this project could not be implemented within the planned budget limit. [soit 5,6 milliards d’euros] to meet the requirements specified by the German Ministry of Defense.
Finally, the call for tenders was launched again, with the same main actors, a few months later. And, in April 2022, Berlin announced its decision to acquire 60 CH-47F Chinook helicopters from Boeing for around six billion euros.
“The low price of the CH-47F unit also allows large quantities to be purchased, which means more operational flexibility for the armed forces,” said the German Ministry of Defense. “By choosing a product available on the market and used worldwide, the technical and financial risks are reduced”, he added, after mentioning the possibility of cooperation with the Netherlands, which also has this type of helicopter.
Just last January, based on several government and industry sources, Business Insider Deutschland revealed that the amount of the planned order may be higher than expected. And to say that it could reach 12 billion euros. Which was obviously an exaggeration…
Indeed, on May 11, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency [DSCA]responsible for the shipment of US military equipment under the procedure called FMS [Foreign Military Sales]commented and recommended that the US Congress approve the sale of 60 CH-47F Chinooks to Germany. [avec des pièces de rechange et des équipements associés] for an estimated amount of 8.5 billion dollars [sout 7,8 milliards d’euros au taux de change actuel].
This figure is only indicative [et la DSCA a l’habitude de surestimer le prix]… And it will be subject to changes in the euro/dollar exchange rate until the contract is signed. But the fact remains that these 60 CH-47F Chinooks will cost more than expected.
This possible sale “will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of the NATO ally, which is an important force for political and economic stability in Europe”, says the DSCA. “It will increase the ability to raise Germany”, which intends to use it to strengthen its internal defense and prevent regional threats”, he adds.
As a reminder, as part of the STH program, Boeing has entered into joint ventures with Airbus, AERO-Bildung GmbH, CAE Elektronik GmbH, ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH, Lufthansa Technik, Honeywell Aerospace and Rolls-Royce Deutschland.