Airbus Helicopters has secured an order to upgrade 26 German military CH-53 heavy transport helicopters.

The refit order has been awarded by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) and seeks to ensure the helicopter fleet remains operational until 2030 and beyond.

Under the terms of the deal, Airbus Helicopters will replace the helicopter's obsolete components with the latest parts.

Airbus Helicopters Deutschland chief executive officer Wolfgang Schoder said: “This order enables both the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) and also our Donauwörth plant to plan ahead with certainty.”

“Airbus Helicopters has been the German specialist for maintaining, repairing and modernising heavy transport helicopters for decades.

"We have the necessary infrastructure, highly trained professionals and can guarantee supply for all Bundeswehr models.”

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By GlobalData
"We have the necessary infrastructure, highly trained professionals and can guarantee supply for all Bundeswehr models."

Work under the contract will be carried out at the company’s Military Support Centre in Donauworth, Germany.

The retrofit process is slated to commence this year and expected to be concluded by 2022. Financial details of the order remain undisclosed.

In March 2016, Airbus Helicopters selected Esterline CMC Electronics’ (CMC) CMA-9000 flight management system (FMS) and the MFD-3068 multi-function display for the upgrade of the German Armed Forces’ CH-53GS/GE Sea Stallion helicopters.

Developed by Lockheed Martin-owned Sikorsky, the CH-53 and its variants are currently operational with the US Marine Corps, Germany, Israel and Japan.

Image: US Army’s CH-53 Sea Stallion heavy transport helicopter. Photo: courtesy of Airbus.