April 25, 2018 / 9:58 AM / in 6 months

Boeing adds German partners for heavy-lift helicopter battle

BERLIN (Reuters) - Boeing (BA.N) has teamed up with 10 German firms as part of its bid to win a 4 billion euro ($4.9 billion) heavy-lift helicopter contract from Berlin, the U.S. company said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: A U.S Army Chinook helicopter takes off during a joint training with the German police ahead of the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 4, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

Last week, U.S. rival Lockheed Martin Corp’s (LMT.N) Sikorsky said it had also linked up with more German firms as part of its attempt to land the deal.

Foreign defense companies often offer work to local firms to try to win major government contracts.

Should the German government select the Boeing H-47 Chinook, the local companies will offer maintenance and training, Michael Hostetter, director, Vertical Lift Programs in Germany, said at a press conference at the Berlin ILA air show.

Hostetter said he expected the full list of requirements (or RFP) from the German government to be presented at the end of this year or the beginning of 2019, but added it seemed as though Germany was looking for a ready-made product.

“The customer has made it very clear that they are looking for low-risk off the shelf solution,” he said, adding Boeing was able to produce a Chinook every five days at its production site in Philadelphia.

He said Boeing could offer either the Foxtrot model or an extended range version, with both offering the air-to-air refueling requirement that Germany is likely to seek.

The Chinook has already been selected by the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Britain, and Canada, and Boeing said it had eight active contract campaigns ongoing with plenty of interest.

The German companies - or German units of foreign companies - that Boeing has partnered with are AERO-Bildungs GmbH, Aircraft Philipp, CAE Elektronik GmbH, COTESA, Diehl Defence, Honeywell, Liebherr-Aerospace, Reiser Simulation and Training GmbH, Rockwell Collins, and Rolls-Royce.

“There is potential to have additional partners onboard to join us depending on what comes out in the RFP,” Hostetter added.

($1 = 0.8189 euros)

Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Mark Potter

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