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The US State Department has approved a potential Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Germany of 60 Boeing CH-47F Chinook heavylift helicopters, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on 11 May 2023.

The sale, which is valued at an estimated USD 8.5 B (EUR 7.81 B), has now been passed to the US Congress for final approval.

As well as 60 CH-47F Block II helicopters, the proposed FMS deal includes 140 T-55-GA-714A engines (120 installed, 20 spares); 72 AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS) (60 installed, 12 spares); and 284 AN/ARC-231A Communications Security (COMSEC) radios (240 installed, 44 spares).

Avionics systems covered by the deal include AN/AVR-2B laser detecting sets; AN/APR-39C(V)1 radar detecting sets; AN/ARC-220 high-frequency radios with electronic counter-countermeasures; military Precise Positioning Service equipment; Digital Advanced Flight Control Systems; AN/APX-123A Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponders; AN/ARN-147 very-high-frequency (VHS) omnidirectional range and instrument landing systems; AN/ARN-153 Tactical Air Navigation Systems; AN/APN-209 radar altimeter systems; AN/AVS-6 night vision devices and electro-optical/infra-red sensors, among others.

CH-47Fs of the Georgia Army National Guard during a training mission in 2014. The US State Department has approved an FMS deal for Germany to receive 60 of the type. (Photo: Georgia ANG)

The helicopters would also feature air-to-air refuelling probes, extended-range fuel systems and forward area refuelling equipment; M134 gun mounts; ballistic protection; underslung load equipment; rescue hoists, a Fast Rope Insertion/Extraction System and an Airborne Tactical Extraction Platform (AirTEP); and various other systems and aspects of programme, logistical and technical support.

Germany selected the CH-47F for its Schwerer Transporthubschrauber (STH) requirement in June 2002 to replace the Luftwaffe’s fleet of around 66 CH-53GA/GS/GE helicopters, the first of which entered German service in 1972.

The CH-47F was competing against the Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion for the requirement.

Peter Felstead