The German parliament’s defence committee has given the green light for the multi-billion-euro purchase of 60 heavy transport helicopters for the Bundeswehr armed forces.
A majority of the members of the committee voted in favour of the procurement of the Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters on Wednesday in Berlin, according to participants at the meeting. The armament project was also on the agenda of the parliament’s budget committee on Wednesday.
The helicopters are to become the Bundeswehr’s workhorse, used for the rapid air transport of vehicles, material and soldiers. They are important for national and NATO alliance defence, but also for missions abroad. The first helicopters are to be delivered in 2027.
According to the decision paper, the total financial requirements of the project amount to about €7.2 billion ($7.8 billion).
An additional €750 million will be needed to adapt military infrastructure for the operation of the helicopters. This will involve the construction of new buildings and hangars, the adaptation of flight operations areas and the expansion of existing fuel depots.
The project’s increasing costs had cast doubt on whether the committee would approve the purchase of the helicopters right up until the day before the meeting.