Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, and Rheinmetall submitted to the Bundeswehr a proposal to supply CH-53K King Stallion under Germany's heavy-lift helicopter procurement program, the
Sikorsky and Rheinmetall formed a STH project team of more than 10 German companies, which includes MTU Aero Engines, Autoflug GmbH and Hydro Systems KG.
The CH-53 aircraft's avionics and digitized flight control systems are designed to accommodate future software upgrades, and its internal payload capability may be increased substantially in the future with relatively simple modifications. An integrated sensor system enables the aircraft to predict and prevent problems at an early stage and thus drastically reducing the maintenance effort, which is a key element for high availability rates of the fleet.
Additionally, the helicopter is equipped with air-to-air refueling fully interoperable with KC-130J tanker aircraft, which the Bundeswehr is planning to operate, and which is already being used by France.
The design of the cargo bay, enables fast cargo handling between it and fixed-wing transport aircrafts such as the C130-J and A400M. The aircraft can be used for the tactical transport of personnel and material as well as for disaster relief, humanitarian missions, medical evacuation (medevac) or combat search and rescue (CSAR) operations.
The aircraft features fly-by-wire flight controls, reducing the pilots’ workload and allowing pilots to anticipate limits while keeping their eyes outside. This is a lifesaving capability in degraded conditions and allows precise control inputs when delivering an external load.
If the bid is successful, Sikorsky and Rheinmetall intend to set up a logistics hub and a STH fleet support center at Leipzig/Halle Airport, LM said.