Defence Helicopter

Sikorsky, Rheinmetall submit German STH bid

16th January 2020 - 14:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Sikorsky and Rheinmetall have submitted their joint bid for the German Air Force’s new heavy-lift transport helicopter (STH) programme.

Based on the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion, the bid is being offered on behalf of a German industry team that also includes MTU Aero Engines, Autoflug and Hydro Systems.

The CH-53K will offer Germany avionics and digitised flight control systems designed to accommodate future software upgrades, with an internal payload capability that may be increased in the future with relatively simple modifications. An integrated sensor system will enable the aircraft to predict and prevent problems at an early stage in order to reduce maintenance efforts and deliver high availability for the fleet.

The CH-53K will be equipped with air-to-air refuelling capability fully interoperable with Lockheed Martin's KC-130J tanker aircraft. The cargo bay design enables the aircraft to accommodate the same air transport pallets used in fixed-wing transport aircraft such as the C-130J and the A400M for cargo handling interoperability.

If the bid is successful, Sikorsky and Rheinmetall intend to set up a logistics hub and a STH fleet support centre at Leipzig/Halle Airport.

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