Rheinmetall, Sikorsky Team to Offer CH-53K for German Heavy-Lift Helicopter Program
DUSSELDORF, Gernany — Rheinmetall and Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, signed a strategic teaming agreement for competing in the German Air Force “Schwerer Transporthubschrauber” (STH) Program.
Rheinmetall brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Sikorsky STH team. With Sikorsky’s breadth and depth of heavy-lift experience and Rheinmetall’s leadership as the lead teammate for STH sustainment, the German Air Force will experience the high levels of aircraft availability and reliability that Sikorsky customers have come to expect.
“With Rheinmetall as the strategic partner for Sikorsky, we are convinced that together we provide the best possible state-of-the-art aircraft for the German Air Force as successor for the legacy CH-53G fleet,” said Armin Papperger, Rheinmetall chief executive officer. “Furthermore, we stand strongly together in offering a cost-effective, reliable solution oriented to the needs of today’s operations, and able to evolve with the Armed Forces as its needs change over time.”
“Sikorsky has a 45-year history supporting the German Armed Forces fleet of CH-53G aircraft, and we are humbled by the opportunity to continue to serve the German Armed Forces for another 45 years with Sikorsky’s CH-53K,” said Dan Schultz, president of Sikorsky. “As a former CH-53 pilot, I can attest that this aircraft is truly the most capable heavy lift helicopter we have ever built. Sikorsky’s CH-53K, combined with Rheinmetall as our key German partner, is a winning solution for STH.”
Sikorsky and Rheinmetall will look to introduce more German teammates in the weeks to come. The team will leverage and build upon the deep knowledge and expertise of the German defense industry.
The CH-53K King Stallion advances Sikorsky’s 50 years of manufacturing and operational success of its CH-53A, CH-53D/G and CH-53E. Built to thrive on the 21st-century battlefield, including shipboard operations, the CH-53K aircraft is an all-new aircraft, using modern intelligent design. The rugged CH-53K is designed to ensure reliability, low maintenance, high availability and enhanced survivability in the most austere and remote forward operating bases.
The U.S. Marine Corps will field the CH-53K as a fully operational aircraft in 2019. By the time Germany receives its first aircraft, the CH-53K will have been in service with the U.S. Marine Corps for five years. The CH-53K provides the German Armed Forces with a proven heavy-lift helicopter that can be entered into service seamlessly without need for upgrades for the next several decades.