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La Germania modernizza i suoi CH-53G

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Germany Upgrading Its CH-53G Helicopters


From 1971-1975, 110 “CH-53G Mittlerer Transporthubschrauber” derivatives of the CH-53D Sea Stallions were built in Germany. Though they share the CH-53E’s ability to lift medium-heavy loads, including up to 2 of Germany’s Wiesel armored infantry support vehicles, the CH-53Gs lack the 3rd engine and additional features of the improved CH-53E Super Stallions that have been operated by the US Marine Corps since 1981. A 2002 decision set a future force goal of 80 CH-53G and upgraded CH-53GS helicopters in the German Army, via modernization and life extension projects.


Which leads us to the current modernization project, even as Germany and France prepare their European Heavy-Lift Helicopter project for introduction around 2020. That effort is also surrounded by more urgent modifications, including one set that aims to create longer-range combat search and rescue capabilities…






Eurocopter’s German Army Helicopter Assistance Center in Donauworth already has an order to retrofit of a total of 82 CH-53G/GS aircraft. They will completely replace these helicopters’ 35 year old electrical systems, while addressing airframe fatigue and extending the helicopters’ design life from 6,000 to 10,000 flight hours.


Measures to maintain airworthiness for Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flight are also underway, and on Feb 14/07, Germany’s Federal Office for military technology and procurement (BWB) awarded EADS Eurocopter a EUR 520 million (currently about $685 million) contract to modernize 40 more of the 80 CH-53G/GS medium-heavy transport helicopters left in the army fleet. See Defense Aerospace’s BWB release translation. In May 2008, another 6 helicopters were added to that program.




CH-53G delivers VBL



The improvement package is broadly focused on avionics (supplied by Rockwell Collins) and self-protection. It includes airframe fatigue modifications as part of the larger program, new communications, data transmission, navigation, a civilian-standard flight management system, an autopilot, forward-looking infrared to improve night mission options, a new EloKa electronic warfare system for self-protection, and an additional internal fuel tank to extend range.


The modernization work will be complete in 2013, and is designed to ensure that the upgraded CH-53GAs will remain able to carry out their missions until the helicopters are replaced. It will also make them operationally compatible with Germany’s new NH90 TTH troop transport and Tiger UHT/HAC attack helicopters. The 20 CH-53GS aircraft, with their external fuel tanks, night vision fittings, defensive systems, and upgraded wiring/airframes, will also remain in service.




June 18/09: EADS subsidiary Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH announces a EUR 24.9 million contract from the German BWB defense procurement agency, to retrofit another 25 CH53 GS/GE transport helicopters for “personnel recovery missions,” also known as combat search-and-rescue (CSAR). The USA has used a related CH-53 variant for CSAR missions: the MH-53J Pave Low, which completed its final combat mission in October 2008.


The German helicopters will receive a personnel locator system, a broadband radio unit, a forward-looking infrared system (FLIR) and connections to the internal and satellite communications systems. A new, removable mission-tactical workstation will roll into the cargo bay, with the controls for operating the additional sensor systems. Feeds will show up on 2 workstation displays, and on a mobile display for the cockpit crew.


Retrofit work will be carried out by Eurocopter Deutschland at its Donauworth plant or on Army bases. The first retrofitted helicopter is scheduled for delivery in early 2010, and all modifications are expected to be complete by the end of 2011.




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  • 3 weeks later...

Beh, il CH53 e' un signor elicottero, si paragona senza problemi al Chinhook. Anche Israele ha fatto la stessa scelta, forse hanno giocato anche considerazioni di carattere commerciale. Ma sulla bontà del mezzo non si discute.

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