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On 1 June, the German Ministry of Defence informed Parliament about the procurement of the CH-47F CHINOOK heavy transport helicopter from Boeing as a successor solution to the CH-53. The ministry added in a statement that Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht has decided to initiate the procurement of 60 CH-47Fs in the Block II Standard Range configuration with air-to-air refuelling capability.

“We thoroughly weighed up the pros and cons and also the risks – and then came out unanimously in favour of this model. The CHINOOK is modern and proven. With this model, we strengthen our ability to cooperate in Europe. It also gives us a larger fleet and greater flexibility,” Lambrecht is quoted as saying in the statement.

The MoD considers the CH-47F to be a technically mature and mission-proven product, of which more than 500 are in service with both the US Army and a number of European users. As a result of the decision, the close cooperation with the Netherlands could be further expanded, as the Dutch armed forces also use the Chinook, the ministry said.

The lower unit price of the CH-47F also makes it possible to procure a higher number of aircraft, which means greater operational flexibility for the armed forces while meeting all essential user requirements, according to the ministry. The only competitor in the procurement programme for a new heavy transport helicopter was Sikorsky’s CH-53K.