Germany to acquire Airbus civil helicopter and convert for combat

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Defence Ministry desires to acquire 82 Airbus H-145M civilian helicopters and convert some of them into combat helicopters to replace its Tiger combat fleet, Organization Insider reported, citing military internal documents.

Germany final year shifted its defence policy soon after Russia invaded Ukraine, committing one hundred billion euros ($107 billion) to modernize the Bundeswehr, Germany’s armed forces.

Berlin, which has been reluctant to acquire into an upgrade of Airbus’s Tiger attack helicopter due to operational difficulties, desires to acquire the 82 aircraft for three.05 billion euros ($three.three billion) and arm 24 of them with anti-tank missiles, the German news outlet mentioned.

The Defence Ministry was not promptly readily available for comment.

The H-145M helicopters are authorized for military use but are not developed as combat aircraft and the Bundeswehr has issues about the machine’s combat suitability and crew protection, which the ministry has ignored so far, the report added.

The Bundeswehr sees the planned procurement “a purely political selection that ignores operational demands,” Organization Insider mentioned, citing a letter from the German Armed Forces Technical Service for Aircraft and Aeronautical Gear (WTD 61) to the Ministry of Defence.

($1 = .9376 euros)

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa Editing by David Holmes)

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