Lockheed Martin [LMT] said Tuesday its Sikorsky division has signed a strategic teaming agreement with Germany's Rheinmetall to bid the CH-53K helicopter for the German Air Force helicopter competition, where it is battling against the Boeing [BA] CH-47.
Rheinmetall is the lead teammate in its bid, Sikorsky said.
"With Rheinmetall as the strategic partner for Sikorsky, we are convinced that together we provide the best possible state-of-the-art aircraft for the German Air Force as successor for the legacy CH-53G fleet," Armin Papperger, Rheinmetall CEO, said. "Furthermore, we stand strongly together in offering a cost-effective, reliable solution oriented to the needs of today's operations, and able to evolve with the armed forces as its needs change over time." It will seek to add additional German partners in the coming weeks.
Boeing, meanwhile, said it has contracts with nearly 100 companies in Germany and the requirements for a Chinook in Germany will result in additional activities being done there.
"We are developing additional partnerships with German industry for the heavy-lift helicopter competition and will announce those at the appropriate time," Boeing said.
Rheinmetall Group specializes in mobility and security solutions. Its defense division produces vehicle, force protection and weapon systems, as well as infantry equipment and air defense technology, and from engagement sequence networking to sensors and electro-optics as well as advanced simulation and training solutions. The group has 23,000 employees worldwide and is based in Dusseldorf.