Boeing has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Airbus Helicopters on the German Air Force’s Schwerer Transporthubschrauber (STH) heavy-lift helicopter competition.

The STH programme seeks to provide the German Air Force with a new heavy-lift helicopter to replace the Luftwaffe’s 70 VFW-Sikorsky CH-53G-series Stallions.

In response to this, Boeing offered the H-47 Chinook helicopter for the competition.

Under this MoU, Boeing and Airbus will provide expertise, advanced capability, and readiness for H-47 helicopters.

The partnership aims to bolster German defence readiness and support economic and industry growth. 

Boeing vertical lift programme vice-president and general manager Mark Cherry said: “The Chinook has been the preferred heavy-lift helicopter in Europe for decades and a cornerstone of all kinds of Nato operations.

“It is the only heavy-lift capable of providing Germany immediate interoperability with allied nations and is significantly more powerful, versatile and agile than any other aircraft in its class.”

Boeing has an existing team of German industry partners to work on Chinook’s sustainment, maintenance, training, logistic support, post-delivery modifications and installations.

The existing partnership team includes Honeywell Aerospace, Rolls-Royce Deutschland, AERO-Bildung, CAE Elektronik, ESG Elektroniksystem, Logistik, and Lufthansa Technik.

Boeing Germany president Michael Haidinger said: “The partnership with Airbus Helicopters reaffirms our commitment to strengthen cooperation with German industry.

“With our Chinook offering and together with our German industry partners, we will create more than 500 highly skilled jobs in-country, all in direct support of the Bundeswehr’s heavy-lift mission requirements.”

The H-47 Chinook is a multi-role aircraft with a vertical-lift platform, which is already being used by eight Nato nations, including, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, the UK, Canada and the US.

Chinook can perform multiple missions, including search and rescue, air-to-air refuelling, medevac, troop transport, humanitarian aid, disaster relief and other special operations.