German Heavy-Lift Helicopter Program Selects Chinook


The German government has chosen Boeing’s CH-47F Chinook for its Schwerer Transporthubschrauber (STH) heavy-lift helicopter program. Germany is expected to purchase up to 60 Chinooks to replace its aging Sikorsky CH-53G helicopter fleet in a deal valued at around €4 billion ($4.3 billion). While the agreement has not yet been finalized, delivery of the new CH-47Fs will reportedly take place between 2023 and 2029.

“Boeing is honored the German government has selected the CH-47F Chinook for its STH heavy-lift helicopter requirements,” the company said. “With the Chinook, Germany will operate the most affordable, proven and NATO interoperable heavy-lift helicopter. We look forward to working with the U.S. and German governments to finalize this sale under the Foreign Military Sales process.”

As previously reported by AVweb, Boeing and Airbus Helicopters signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to partner on the Chinook for STH last March, expanding a team that also includes AERO-Bildung GmbH, CAE Elektronik GmbH, ESG Elektroniksystem-und Logistik-GmbH, Lufthansa Technik, Honeywell Aerospace and Rolls-Royce Deutschland. The Chinook is currently operated by NATO nations the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, Canada and the U.S. The other model under consideration for the STH program was Sikorsky’s CH-53K King Stallion.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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    • I flew Chinooks in Viet Nam in 1971 and later at Fort Hood, Tx and Fort Lewis, Wa. I flew the CH-47C, A & B. The F model is two generations advanced from the C. The technology for virtually every piece of the machine is generations newer and better. The cockpit, for example, is now full glass, all digital, with autoflight, including hover, capabilities, FMS, etc., etc.. Flight controls are digital, leak points are reduced by probably 75 or 80 percent, and engines and transmissions are significantly upgraded with significant improvements hot & high performance, digital controls, and on and on. This aint’ your father’s Chinook. Germany, and the other operators are getting a very capable machine. These are newly manufactured F models, not even remanufactured D models. This machine has several more decades before it’s “aging”.

  1. Given their minuscule budget for their own defense, their fleet of these old choppers is going to be quite small. I worked on what would become the Eurofighter in the early 1980s when employed at Germany’s Dornier. The Europeans milked that project for every Euro they could squeeze out of taxpayers for 40 years. It was obsolete when it entered operational status. But it kept a lot of people well employed and enjoying their two months of vacations a year.

  2. Does anyone else wonder about the photo depicting a German-flagged Chinook delivering troops while teetering on the brink of El Capitan mountain in Yosemite Valley, California?

    • I read that Germany is greatly increasing its defence budget in response to Putin’s reminder of reality.

      Will be much demand on the budget after years of neglect.

      Certainly much stupidity in Germany, Angela Merkel pandered to Green Goon Party on energy, leading to current crisis.

    • 😉

      European military does train in Canada and US because of space.
      Brit army in AB, I forget whether their transport aircraft were at EG or YC when I noticed them a couple of times. Someone’s army(s) train in Manitoba. Fighters may train in southwest US.
      And Europeans may visit special test establishments (cold wx testing at Frobisher Bay and in AK are high profile examples, E-M evaluation ranges somewhere).

      Occasionally special operations, such as for a major international palaver in foothills of Rockies WSW of Calgary years ago.
      US military people at a gas station south of Edmonton, Springbank airport taken over, and ‘interesting’ occurrences of 4bys near Freeway 1 abeam the region of the palaver. (Two clean-cut males with clean clothes, standing near clean vehicle – hmmm. 🙂

      • Unless there has been a major change, the US military is welcome at Springbank Airport. The local pilot population had few fans of Ottawa last time I was there. They’d likely be encouraging our boys to carry out regime change. 😂🤣

    • And of course different environment than western Europe – southern AB is dry and there were sand dunes in southern SK/MB, SW US even more so for both plus sand dunes on OR coat (good training in preparation for Middle East etc.).

      And lots of tundra in northern AK/Canada, plus swamps in FL, and endless trees and water in NW ON/NE MB.