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12:44 PM, February 6, 2018
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CH-53K Helicopter:Image by Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky

Rheinmetall and Sikorsky signed a strategic teaming agreement for competing in the German Air Force "Schwerer Transporthubschrauber" (STH) Program.

"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 CEO.

Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky is competing with Boeing which is offering its CH-47 Chinook in Germany’s plans to buy 45 to 60 new heavy-lift helicopters worth nearly 4 billion Euros ($4.72 billion).

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. The CH-53K aircraft is an all-new aircraft, 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.

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