The Bundeswehr has been waiting for a new heavy transport helicopter for years. It is essential for the rapid transport of vehicles, material and soldiers.

The Bundeswehr is to be equipped with the heavy Chinook CH-47F transport helicopter for a sum worth billions.

Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) has decided to initiate the procurement of 60 helicopters from the US manufacturer Boeing, according to a statement by the Defense Ministry that was available to the German Press Agency on Wednesday in Berlin. The Bundeswehr has been waiting for years for the project, which has since been stopped, to continue. Around five billion euros from the 100 billion package for the Bundeswehr are estimated for the purchase.

The helicopters are used for the rapid air transport of vehicles, material and soldiers and are important for national and alliance defense, but also for missions abroad. The CH in the model designation stands for “cargo helicopter”. The CH-47 is easily identifiable by its characteristic banana shape and two main rotors.

Many advantages of the model

In the past, military planners had pointed out the advantages of the model, which is to be operated in conjunction with Airbus. Many NATO partners use the helicopter – the Netherlands, Spain, Great Britain, Italy, Greece, the USA, Canada and Turkey. This enables a broad cooperation. “In the assessment, it was particularly important that priority was given to the cooperation potential for European integration and the choice of a proven, marketable model for risk minimization,” the statement said.

According to the military, there are hardly any restrictions on dust landings for the Chinook, as they are necessary in Africa. Boeing has said it can deliver the model with aerial refueling capability. This is necessary for long-distance flights.

The competing US defense company Lockheed Martin had offered the CH-53K model. However, of Germany’s partners, only the USA and Israel are currently using the machine. It can carry higher external loads, such as may be necessary when moving soldiers from ships to land. Lockheed Martin had offered to work with Rheinmetall on the offer.