Military

Germany Leans Toward US Airframes as Airbus Fights for Domestic, Report Says

By S.L. Fuller | July 6, 2017
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Pvt. Steven Diaz, Bravo Battery, 1-143rd Field Artillery, pulls LZ security as a CH-47F Chinook from 1-126th Aviation takes off after sling loading an M119A3 105mm Howitzer and his unit at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., June 15, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Cody Gallo)

 Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army

Germany could be leaning toward a Sikorsky or Boeing model, but Airbus is pushing for the country to procure domestic technologies as well, Reuters reported.

Reuters said German defense has earmarked some $4.6 billion for new heavy-lift rotorcraft and would prefer a “low-risk” model that “already exists.” While pursuing those wants, German officials could be led to Lockheed Martin and Boeing. However, Reuters said Airbus officials spoke with German defense officials, urging them to contract domestic firms as part of the larger rotorcraft purchases.

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"This is about the future of the German helicopter industry," Reuters quoted Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Airbus Helicopters Deutschland, as saying.

According to reports, German firms are hoping defense tenders separate contracts for the procurement of the airframe and the certification, management and maintenance. 

Germany has not yet released requirements, but reports said it could happen in 2018. At this point, Reuters reported that Airbus admitted to not having a helicopter large enough for the needs it anticipates the German government will integrate into its requirements.

According to Reuters, it will most likely be Boeing’s CH-47 and Sikorsky’s CH-53K competing for the German defense contract.

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