Germany is moving ahead with an acquisition programme to replace its air force's Sikorsky CH-53 heavy-lift helicopters, with the choice narrowed to two types.Interesting. I posted a pic of the Special Ops version of the CH-47 because from my reading of the article that's the version that they'll likely buy if they choose to go with that airframe (the CH-53K supposedly can do the penetration mission out the box so we'll probably see USAF Special Ops buying a few dozen).
One key driver for Berlin's effort under the fledgling heavy transport helicopter project is the need to purchase a rotorcraft already in production, rather than launching a clean-sheet development programme.
Maj Thomas Knäpper, Luftwaffe capability manager in charge of the programme, says only two heavy-lift helicopters effectively meet that requirement: the Boeing CH-47F Chinook and Sikorsky's CH-53K King Stallion – being developed for the US Marine Corps.
"We want to buy a product already on the market. You could assume that Bell Boeing would come back with the [V-22] Osprey, but it is not as big," he says.
Scoring versus cost will be a big factor in this comp (I think). Will the cargo capacity, deep penetration and range advantage that the CH-53K bring without modification carry the day, or will the cheaper (much cheaper) CH-47 prove irresistible?