For several months now, Sikorsky, A Lockheed Martin Company and the German aviation company Autoflug have been in talks regarding cooperation in the planned new purchase of heavy-lift transport helicopters for German armed forces.
Sikorsky and Autoflug signed a Letter of Intent to collaborate more closely together on Autoflug’s equipment portfolio and Sikorsky’s CH-53K helicopter for the German STH program. Autoflug views Sikorsky CH-53K as the most modern aircraft solution in the Heavy Lift Market and would assure the Germany Air Force has the safest and most technological aircraft with the best equipment available today. Each company views this as an opportunity to expand beyond only the STH Program for potential requirements in both the military and civilian markets. Autoflug is a leader in aircraft seats, mission equipment for MedEvac and auxiliary fuel systems.
The companies have held talks regarding the CH-53K, the newly developed, state-of-the-art, heavy-lift transport helicopter made by Sikorsky, which is competing to be the successor to Sikorsky’s CH-53 GS/GA currently being flown in Germany. Autoflug is already developing safety seats for current German fleet to improve crash safety for its remaining service life. The seating systems also have a low weight and are extremely quick to fit and remove, as well as being durable with no maintenance, and providing the occupant with maximum freedom of movement. If the requirements remain the same or similar for its potential successor, Autoflug could adapt for a configuration of up to 48 troop seats in the CH-53K, with minimal development effort. The management of Autoflug is sure that an important factor in the selection process of the successor to the CH-53 GS/GA will be the ratio of German industry in the overall program. A high degree of German participation is the precondition for a high level of constant availability during the planned life-time of the helicopters to be procured.