via Flight Global.
Boeing is upbeat about the Chinook’s prospects in Germany, but as the CH-53K programme gathers momentum in anticipation of initial operational capability with four combat-ready aircraft in 2019, the competition is expected to be heated.This is interesting. For the first time we're hearing that the CH-53K because of its capabilities is not a one for one replacement. That's been argued before but that's also how you end up with low number, high demand aircraft.
Vanderborght says the CH-53K is not a one-for-one replacement because of its outsized lifting capacity, and fewer aircraft means less overall force structure and personnel. Torok says Lockheed Martin-owned Sikorsky expects to build anywhere up to 300 aircraft and is preparing to add Germany at the front end, if needed.
Even better will be watching how Germany arrives at what helicopter it will buy. Did you know that the CH-53K is looking like an almost 100 mil per plane buy? I guess increased capability means increased price but it also shows the burning issue of our time in the Marine Corps.
Aviation IS turning into a cost problem. We ARE heading to a point where the price of the depending on it for fires, logistics, mobility etc...will have to be weighed against its affordability.
I'm just the messenger so don't hate me, but does it make more sense to increase the size of our artillery battalions (and buy more M-777/HIMARS) to provide fires or do we maintain a AH-1Z or F-35 squadron? One day soon it will be a comparison of cost/effectiveness vs. all weather/sustained fires. With the coming budget crisis I can see the "golden age" of Marine Aviation coming to an end. Precision fire isn't confined to just what comes off the wings or ramps of aircraft...cannon/rocket/missile fire from the ground is more precise too.