Lockheed Martin company Sikorsky has confirmed its German industrialisation plan to compete in the German Air Force’s ‘Schwerer Transporthubschrauber’ (STH) heavy-lift helicopter programme with its CH-53K King Stallion aircraft.

The helicopter will provide the German Air Force with an effective heavy-lift solution that can be easily entered into service without the need for upgrades for the next several decades.

Sikorsky president Dan Schultz said: “The CH-53K is the most modern and capable heavy- lift helicopter ever built and has the ability to fly for the next 50 years performing ever-expanding combat, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.

“We look forward to our partnership with German industry to bring true heavy-lift capability to every aspect of the German Armed Forces.”

The CH-53K King Stallion is an all-new aircraft, rugged aircraft that has been designed to ensure reliability, low-maintenance, high availability and increased survivability in the most severe and remote forward-operating bases.

“We look forward to our partnership with German industry to bring true heavy-lift capability to every aspect of the German Armed Forces.”

The helicopter can be deployed to carry out several missions, such as humanitarian aid, troop transport, casualty evacuation, support of special operations forces, and combat search-and-rescue operations.

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The company has entered an exclusive arrangement with Rheinmetall Group, who will be responsible for providing in-service support to the heavy-lift aircraft.

The Sikorsky CH-53K team will host several German companies in an industry chalet during the ILA Berlin Airshow.

In addition to Rheinmetall, the other companies include MTU, ZF Luftfahrttechnik, Autoflug, HYDRO Systems KG, Rockwell Collins Germany, Jenoptik, Hensoldt, Liebherr and Rohde & Schwarz.

Next year, the Sikorsky CH-53K helicopter will be fielded to the US Marine Corps (USMC) as a fully operational aircraft.