A Sikorsky CH-53 helicopter of the German armed forces conducts a fire and rescue performance at the Berlin Air Show on April 25, 2018, in Schoenefeld, Germany.
Top U.S. Marine Corps brass traveled to Berlin now to dispel the notion the service’s newly developed CH-53K helicopter is way too pricey and immature to the German military.
Assistant Commandant Gen. Glenn Walters told reporters with the Berlin Air Show that this heavy-lift helicopter holds “strategic importance” for your Marine Corps. He said the choppers, the Marines want 200, would fulfill an integral tenet inside the U.S. government’s national defense technique of “massing” combat power on the front lines inside the form of troops and vehicles.
Germany is inside the market to replace its fleet of aging CH-53G aircraft, seeking ranging from 40 to 60 aircraft. The race is really down to the CH-53K King Stallion and Boeing’s CH-47 Chinook. The pair essentially represents the choice between a modern, next-generation product that’s expensive around the either side as well as a legacy work horse that amounted to less around the other.
Marine Corps officials dismissed reports of a looming delay in initial operational capability scheduled for the coming year. Citing a recent Pentagon cost and risk assessment, Bloomberg reported immediately that technical issues had put the timing at the “high risk.”
Marine Corps Col. Hank Vanderborght rejected that assessment in speaking with reporters in Berlin. “We’re on target for meeting the 2019 ICO date,” he was quoted saying.
Vanderborght told us that the program is 20 percent over cost, as Bloomberg reported, which he said is “well below” the 30 % threshold that needs congressional notification. He said the per-unit cost for the Marine Corps is $87 million, and the man confirmed the figure would climb to $139.5 million when factoring all costs throughout the life cycle, including spares.
The Marine Corps’ appearance on the air show was build as something associated with an assist for Lockheed Martin and its particular subsidiary Sikorsky, whose officials spoke immediately afterward.
The Marine Corps has an interest in Germany getting the King Stallion because a higher production volume could bring down prices for all customers, taking pressure off the Corps amid questions inside U.S. about high costs.
Sikorsky President Dan Schultz praised the helicopter’s lift power and internal space. “We’re the one ones that can get a Fennek inside,” he said, talking about the light-armored reconnaissance vehicle of Bundeswehr ground forces.
Boeing, because of its part, will continue to tout the retail price point of its CH-47 offering.
“The cost to buy and look after the Chinook is quite a bit below other platforms,” company spokeswoman Marcia Costley wrote in a very statement. “The cost depends about the particular model the customer chooses, the unique country specifications and level of the order.”