The US company Lockheed Martin sees the possibility of cooperation in the area of electronic warfare systems between Germany and Israel if the German armed forces should procure the heavy transport helicopter CH-53K. As Joshua Shani, CEO of Lockheed Martin Israel, explained yesterday at a press conference with German journalists, the Air Force could possibly also use the highly developed Israeli EW technology in its own aircraft.
According to retired brigadier general of the Israeli Air Force, his country is currently in the final phase of procuring the CH-53K for his air force. The letter of acceptance will be signed within the next few weeks, but no later than the end of the year, he said. Then it should also be clear how many helicopters Israel will buy. The Lockheed Martin manager reckons with no more than 18 machines.
However, the Israeli Air Force will not procure the identical variant as it is being introduced in the US Marine Corps, but will install other systems in parts, for example in the areas of communication and electronic combat. This so-called blue version is intended to be tailored to the needs of the Israelis. What specific systems are involved and whether all the wishes of the military can be met will be shown in the ongoing negotiations between the Israeli air force and industry, said Lockheed CEO Martin Israel.
In contrast, the process of procuring a new heavy transport helicopter for the Bundeswehr is making slow progress. In the course of the week there will be a hearing at the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court, in which the BMVg will negotiate the termination of the procedure for the procurement of a heavy transport helicopter. (ESUT reported). The competition in Germany is the CH-53K and the CH-47F from Boeing.
If Germany ultimately opts for the CH-53K, it would be the third customer to introduce this helicopter. Lockheed Martin sees Switzerland as another possible interested party, which is also looking for a helicopter of this size. In addition, other customers could possibly come from the East Asian region, as it was said at the press event.
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