With 80 CH-53 heavy transport helicopters in service, the Luftwaffe, the German Air Force, has the largest helicopter transport capacity in Europe. But the 110 machines ordered in 1971 and delivered from 1973 are now bearing the brunt of the years, despite the modernization program carried out between 1990 and 2001. This is the reason why, in November 2018, the German parliament validated Schwerer Transporthubschrauber ”, or STH, program
As in 1971, the competition today pits the latest versions of Sikorsky's CH-53 against Boeing's CH-47. Sikorsky has joined forces with the German Rheinmetall for this program, and offers the CH-53K King Stallion, the ultimate version of its aircraft which made its first flight in 1964. But the new aircraft has little more than the name and the appearance in common with his illustrious ancestor. Indeed, the CH-53K integrates all the most modern technologies applied to rotary wings, including electric flight controls allowing, among other things, to considerably relieve the crew's work regarding piloting, to concentrate on driving. of mission. The new aircraft proposed by Sikorsky and Rheinmetall is, moreover, optimized to integrate into the German logistics chain, with the capacity to directly load pallets from C-130J and A400M aircraft in service with the Luftwaffe, as in the French Air Force. This capacity makes it possible to accelerate logistical flows, especially when transport aircraft cannot land near the forces.[armelse]
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