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On the occasion of the 31st International Helicopter Forum in Bückeburg (3 and 4 July 2019) gave Sikorsky and Boeing announced further details of their solutions for the German need for a heavy transport helicopter.

CH-53K King Stallion

Sikorsky informed at a press conference, on the part of the company Elizabeth Parcella, Director, International CH-53K Programs, Frank Crisafulli, International CH-53 manager, Mike Schmidt, and the son of the founder and current aide Sergei Sikorsky, took part.

Sikorsky sieht in der Tatsache, dass das Unternehmen seit zwei Jahren mit einem breit aufgestellten deutschen Team zusammenarbeitet einen wesentlichen Vorteil, der laut Aussage des Unternehmens, wesentlichen im Rahmen der Angebotsaufforderung durch das BAAINBw formulierten Forderungen entgegenkommt. Im Prinzip sollen die deutschen Partner in die Lage versetzt werden, praktisch die gesamte logistische Unterstützung vor Ort zu gewährleisten. In diesem Zusammenhang wies das Unternehmen darauf hin, dass die Beschaffungskosten für den CH-53K zwar sicherlich über denen des H-47 lägen, bei Betrachtung der gesamten Lebenshaltungskosten das Luftfahrzeug jedoch das wirtschaftlichere Angebot darstelle. Die Firma betonte hierzu, dass die Beschaffungskosten in der Regel lediglich 20% der Life Cycle Costs ausmachten. Zudem sei bei einer Bewertung der durch den Hubschrauber wahrzunehmenden Aufgaben (in der Angebotsaufforderung vordefinierte Missionsprofile) vermutlich festzustellen, dass bei der Wahl des CH-53K deutlich weniger Luftfahrzeuge benötigt würden, als bei der Bewertung des Wettbewerbers. Dies habe gleichermaßen Auswirkungen auf die Stärke des geforderten Personals, Ersatzteile und logistischen Aufwand. Zudem entstehe durch die Möglichkeit, die Rotorblätter einklappen zu können, kein zusätzlicher Platzbedarf bei der für die gegenwärtige CH-53 GA/GS-Flotte bereits existenten Infrastruktur an den Standorten.

Further details were regarding the development of the cooperation with Rheinmetall. The German partner takes over not only the German "team lead" but a total of three tasks:

  • Simulation and Training
  • Technical Documentation
  • Maintenance and repair (MRO)

Since the Bundeswehr in the RFP calls for a Level C simulator is a team of Rheinmetall engineers work in the coming months along with the partners Sikorsky in the development of this simulator in the USA.
The revised together with the US Marine Corps schedule provides that the US Marine Corps will have from 2023 through the first operational helicopter. On a successful bid by the German Army Sikorsky would be able to produce in a position up to 32 equipment on a production line, if required, this could be extended to about 40 aircraft. Since the US Marine Corps wants to take a maximum of 24 CH-53K per year, would thus be enough capacity for simultaneous production of both orders (and beyond) possible. The STH program provides for a feed in the years 2024-2032.

H-47F Chinook

Boeing and the ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik GmbH signed a cooperation agreement during the helicopter Forum on the Boeing booth in Bückeburg. Here Michael Haidinger rendered, President Boeing Germany, Michael Hostetter, vice president of Boeing Defense & Security Germany, Christoph Weber, Head of ESG DEFENSE + PUBLIC SECURITY, and Carsten Gudehus, Head of Helicopter Systems at the ESG, symbolic signatures on the image of an H-47F with the identification of the Luftwaffe.

v.l.n.r. Michael Hostetter, Christoph Weber, Carsten Gudehus und Michael Haidinger (Foto: Boeing)

The agreement supports the offer of the H-47 Chinook in the German STH-competitive and includes both in-service support as well as various benefits under the life cycle management. With this cooperation, Boeing is expanding its in-service support network further and uses the expertise of ESG in providing innovative and complex solutions for the Bundeswehr. These include locally oriented logistics services to support efficiency, reliability and technology. As a new member of the industry team ESG to support the STH over the entire life cycle. The industrial plan Boeing will offer the army a long-term support and training solution on site. This includes the maintenance of helicopters, training of crews as well as technical training, research, development and technology solutions and the integration of communications and mission systems. In addition to the efficiency of the Chinook Boeing raises in particular the improved interoperability and the fact that it is in the H-47F to a mature product is (low-risk approach) out.

Next steps

  • Q4 2019 - tender
  • Q1 2021 - Conclusion
  • Q1 2024 - Delivery 1. machine

Jurgen Hensel and Waldemar Geiger