Germany’s first Chinook CH-47F heavy-lift helicopters could be delivered as soon as 2026, according to executives from Boeing.
The US manufacturer beat out Sikorsky’s CH-53K King Stallion for the German heavy-lift helicopter (STH) bid, with the German government announcing the decision on June 1, 2022.
Work will be done over the next four to five months to finalize the program and delivery schedule, Mark Cherry, vice president of Boeing’s Vertical Lift division told a press briefing at the Berlin ILA Airshow on June 22, 2022.
Michael Hostetter, vice president, Boeing Defense, Space & Security, Germany, said it only takes three years to build a Chinook and they can build as many as 72 a year. “If you assume a contract of work in the first quarter of 2023, we could be delivering helicopters in 2026.”
“We’re looking forward to continuing the process and getting the helicopter under contract,” Hostetter noted. “It’s been a long process, a very challenging process.”
Germany originally commenced the STH tender in 2017 before suspending it in late 2020 and then reviving it in January 2021. The government plans to order up to 60 of the Chinook helicopters.
Cherry said Germany had requested a single configuration, the F Block II, with air refueling capability. Block II offers more capability in terms of lift, endurance and speed compared to Block I, he added. “In terms of specifics for the configuration, we’re working very closely with Germany and the army over the next few months. Other than Block II and air refueling, everything else we’re going to be working on.”
Germany will be the second international customer for the Block II variant, after the UK. Cherry said Boeing was heading to Britain on June 23, 2022 to talk with its customer there.