New possibilities for the much discussed German Heavy lift helicopter replacement programme

In September 2020, Germany cancelled the CH-53 replacement programme. The main reason is, as we mentioned in our Scramble News item of 30 September 2020, that the programme was too expensive. The cause for this was the never ending (and ongoing changing) requirements from the German military.

On 9 December 2020, the German Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced that they were looking for new options to replace their CH-53G fleet by 2030. One of the options is the use of the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme to yield contracts for the same two types of heavy transport helicopters in the first cancelled STH (Schwerer Transporthubschrauber) programme, the CH-53K King Stallion and the CH-47F Chinook.

By using the FMS programme, the German MoD tries to work more closely with the US Government to finalize a realistic and not too expensive deal. However, by using this programme, Germany must adhere to the supply of standard equipment with little possibility for customizing.

Germany aims to sign a deal before the end of 2022, so the ageing CH-53G Stallions can be replaced from 2030.

According to our Scramble Database the Luftwaffe (GAF, German Air Force) has 85 active CH-53G(A)(S). However, a few CH-53s have not been reported for quite a few years. If you have an update on the whereabouts of these CH-53s, please let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

84+05 l/n mar12, 84+16 l/n jun05, 84+18 l/n jan16, 84+22 l/n oct05, 84+23 l/n sep02, 84+40 l/n aug06, 84+69 l/n mar05, 84+76 l/n sep13, 85+11 l/n dec00

Photos: Lockheed Martin and van der Wolf images

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