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CSAR-X to CRH -- Then There Was One

CSAR-X to CRH -- Then There Was One | D-FENS | Scoop.it

Protesting pays. That's one lesson that could be drawn from U.S. Air Force efforts to competitively procure replacements for its Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawk combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) helicopters.

Boeing, Bell Boeing, EADS North America, and Northrop Grumman teamed with AgustaWestland, have all decided not to bid for the Air Force's 112-aircraft, $6.85 billion Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) program after analyzing the request for proposals. That leaves Sikorsky, teamed with Lockheed Martin, as the only bidder.

It was Sikorsky and Lockheed, then competing separately, that successfully protested the November 2006 award of the CSAR-X contract to Boeing and the HH-47 Chinook, leading to cancellation of the 141-aircraft, $10 billion program in November 2009. CSAR-X was due to achieve initial operational capability right around now.

This time around, Sikorsky and Lockheed are expected to offer the HH-60M CSAR version of the Army's UH-60M Black Hawk, which the Air Force has already purchased in small numbers to top up its Pave Hawk fleet. In the CSAR-X days, the HH-60 was judged too small for the mission and Sikorsky instead offered the H-92.

After the cancellation of CSAR-X, the Air Force floated the idea of a directed purchase of HH-60Ms to recapitalize the Pave Hawk fleet, but was shot down. So instead it came up with the CRH competition, which looks to be closely modeled on the restaged KC-X tanker contest.

The revised KC-X program sought to avoid the protests that sank the original competition by strictly limiting the credits available for exceeding the baseline requirements. This turned the contest on its head. Where the larger Airbus A330-based KC-45 won the first round, the smaller Boeing 767-based KC-46 won the rematch.

The same appears to have happened with CRH. Where the CSAR-X competition allowed Boeing to score highly with its larger, more capable, but more expensive HH-47, the CRH RFP sets out source-selection criteria that give little or no credit for exceeding the baseline requirements.

For Boeing with the CH-47, Bell Boeing with the V-22 Osprey and Northrop with AgustaWestland's AW101 there was no incentive to offer a rotorcraft with any capability more than the minimum set out in the RFP. The same likely applies to EADS, which was looking at offering the EC725 or NH90.

What procurement watchers will make of this, I'm not sure. There will be no competition, unless someone comes out of the woodwork, but the Air Force should still get the cheapest combat-rescue helicopter out there, if only because the HH-60M already exists. But it is also the smallest.

And if someone can calculate the amount of money the Air Force has spent getting to this point, I would like to hear from them.

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Ankunft des ersten A400M "ATLAS" in Deutschland - LTG 62 Wunstorf

Nun kann auch die Bundeswehr einen A400M ihr Eigen nennen. Bundesministerin Ursula von der Leyen empfängt das Transportflugzeug samt Crew in Wunstorf bei Hannover. Der Militärflugplatz des Lufttransportgeschwaders 62 ist die neue Heimat des ersten A400M der Luftwaffe. 

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A-10 Thunderbolts & C-17 Globemasters - Joint Forcible Entry Exercise

A-10 Thunderbolts and C-17 Globemasters and approximately 130 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division participate in the Joint Forcible Entry Exercise or JFE 14B over Keno Airfield on the Nevada Test & Training Range and return later that afternoon, December 6th, 2014. JFE is a US Air Force Weapons School large scale air mobility exercise in which participants plan and execute a complex air-land operation in a simulated contested battlefield. JFE exercises participants ability to synchronize aircraft movements from geographically-separated bases, command large formations of dissimilar aircraft in high threat airspace, and tactically deliver and recover combat forces via air drops and combat landings on an unimproved landing strip.

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First two HAD-E Tigers delivered to Spain - EC665

First two HAD-E Tigers delivered to Spain - EC665 | D-FENS | Scoop.it

The Spanish military’s new helicopter fleet continues to take shape with the delivery of the first two Tiger helicopters in the new HAD-E version from Airbus Helicopters. The first NH90 tactical transport helicopter (TTH) for the Spanish Army Airmobile Force (FAMET) has also been delivered, as announced by NHI on 19 December.

All three helicopters were assembled in the Spanish plant in Albacete, which successfully carried out the industrial phase, airworthiness certification and technical acceptance.

Francisco Vergé, CEO, Airbus Helicopters España, said: ‘The delivery of these three helicopters is a very important milestone for our company and we wish to thank the Spanish Ministry of Defense for trusting in us. Our close relationship with the Spanish Army and the different departments of the Directorate-General of Armament and Equipment (DGAM) has been crucial to ensuring the success of these two high-tech programmes.’

The Tiger combat helicopters offer a number of improvements over the HAP-E Tigers currently in service, including a new MTR-E turboshaft with 14% more power, an improved optronic vision system, Spike air-to-ground missiles, an Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system coupled with an interrogator and a new electronic warfare and countermeasure system. Twenty-four Tiger helicopters will be delivered in total.

Airbus Helicopters España will supply a total of 22 NH90 helicopters to the Spanish armed forces under a delivery schedule that continues through to 2021. The Spanish plant is responsible for assembly of all the NH90 helicopters for the Spanish armed forces, along with manufacture of the front fuselage section both for the Spanish helicopters and for those destined for export. 

As the Spanish version of the NH90, the GSPA has been designed to perform technical missions such as troop transport, search and rescue missions, personnel recovery and medical evacuation. It is equipped for day and night operations in all types of environments.

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Northrop Grumman - Sikorsky UH-60V Blackhawk Cockpit Digitization

Northrop Grumman has been selected to provide digital cockpit upgrades to the U.S. Army.
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MQ-8C Fire Scout Takes First Flight on USS Jason Dunham

The U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman Corporation successfully flew the MQ-8C Fire Scout system for the first time off the guided-missile destroyer, USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), Dec. 16 off the Virginia coast.

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MQ-8C


Overview: The MQ-8C Fire Scout will provide the U.S. Navy with an increased range by over 30%, twice the endurance and an increased payload capacity over the existing MQ-8B variant. Under a risk reduction and cost-savings approach, the unmanned systems architecture developed and matured for the MQ-8B is re-used in a Bell 407 helicopter to support a special operations requirement for a ship-based unmanned system. Northrop Grumman is the only provider capable of meeting the Navy's needs by mid-2014.



  • Northrop Grumman's decade-long expertise in unmanned helicopter development puts the company in the best position to supply the Navy with it's next-generation Fire Scout quickly and affordably.
  • The Bell 407 is a mature commercial helicopter with more than 1,000 airframes produced and over 3 million flight hours. Combined with the maturity of Northrop Grumman's unmanned systems architecture, the MQ-8C Fire Scout uses available technology and equipment to deliver a more capable system to the Navy.
  • The MQ-8C's capabilities have already been validated through the Fire-X demonstration program. Additionally, the unmanned systems architecture has accrued more than 7,800 flight hours, with over 5,900 of those hours flown operationally from ships and on land.
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CAE helicopter simulators at the German Army Aviation School, Bueckeburg

CAE helicopter simulators at the German Army Aviation School, Bueckeburg | D-FENS | Scoop.it

Germany’s Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) has exercised a contract option for CAE GmbH to continue providing a range of maintenance and in-service support through 2021 at the Hans E. Drebing simulator centre of the German Army Aviation School in Bueckeburg. The contract covers the on-site maintenance and training support services of the 12 CAE-built helicopter simulators operated at the German Army Aviation School. The state-of-the-art training facility, Europe’s largest helicopter training centre, includes two Bell UH-1D, eight Airbus Helicopter EC135, and two Sikorsky CH-53 helicopter simulators that are used to deliver initial and advanced pilot training to the German Armed Forces as well as several other defence and security forces. In addition, CAE is delivering under a separate contract two additional CH-53GA cockpits to use with the roll-on/roll-off simulators, giving the German Army a total of 14 simulator cockpits at the facility.


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CAE helicopter solutions

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Sikorsky iPRIZE Competition

At Sikorsky, some of the most innovative minds are engineering the future of vertical lift and we’re having fun doing it. Mark Miller, Vice President of Research & Engineering, takes you through a day in the life at Sikorsky.

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Bell-Boeing demonstrates successful V-22 "Osprey" forward-firing capability

Bell-Boeing demonstrates successful V-22 "Osprey" forward-firing capability | D-FENS | Scoop.it

Bell Helicopter, announced the successful demonstration of forward-firing capability for the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. The exercise took place last month at the United States Army Proving Ground in Yuma, Ariz.


“The forward-firing demonstration was a great success,” said Vince Tobin, vice president and program manager for the Bell Boeing V-22. “We’ve shown the V-22 can be armed with a variety of forward-facing munitions, and can hit their targets with a high degree of reliability. Congratulations to the team who has worked from initial design to completion of this demonstration.” 


“Integrating a forward firing capability to the Osprey will increase its mission set,” Tobin continued. “These weapons, once installed, will provide added firepower and reduce reliance on Forward Arming and Refueling Points (FARPs) which are sometimes necessary to supply short range attack rotorcraft in support of V-22 operations. Without the need for FARPs, V-22s can be launched more frequently, and on shorter notice.”

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V-22 Osprey forward-firing test
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Lockheed Martin "Romeo" - Sikorsky MH-60R

George Barton, vice president of business development for Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training talks to Shephard Media about the status of the MH-60R Romeo naval helicopter programme.
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First Flight: Airbus Helicopters EC645 T2 - Light Utility Helicopter

The German Armed Forces witnessed the first flight of the EC645 T2 at the Bavarian site of Airbus Helicopters in Germany.

The Bundeswehr has ordered 15 of these military helicopters for the German Air Force.

The EC645 T2 represents a significant addition to the German Air Force’s capabilities and offers a host of features that make it particularly well suited to missions carried out by the Special Forces Command (KSK).

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Erstflug Airbus Helicopters EC645T2 - Light Utility Helicopter

Klein, leicht und wendig: der EC645 T2 zeigt seine Leistung beim ersten öffentlichen Flug in Donauwörth. Sein zukünftiger Einsatzzweck bei der Bundeswehr: Im HSG64, das Unterstützen der Spezialkräfte bei ihren Einsätzen.

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Übernahme des A400M "ATLAS" in Sevilla

Im spanischen Sevilla ist der erste deutsche Airbus A400M offiziell abgenommen worden. Zuvor hatten Spezialisten der Wehrtechnischen Dienststelle 61 und der Beschaffungsbehörde der Bundeswehr das Transportflugzeug beim Hersteller Airbus Defence & Space in Andalusien mehrere Wochen lang noch einmal genau unter die Lupe genommen. Vor der Übernahme durch die Bundeswehr musste sichergestellt sein, dass alle vertraglichen Verpflichtungen eingehalten wurden und alles am Flugzeug ordnungsgemäß funktioniert.

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First German A400M "ATLAS" delivered

First German A400M "ATLAS" delivered | D-FENS | Scoop.it

The first A400M for the German Air Force was officially accepted at the Airbus Defence and Space A400M Final Assembly Line in Seville, Spain, on 18 December.

The A400M will replace Germany’s air mobility force C-160 Transall fleet. Germany will receive 53 aircraft from Airbus in total.

Bernhard Gerwert, CEO, Airbus Defence and Space, said: ‘We are extremely proud to hand over the first A400M to Germany. The A400M will play a critical role in the modernisation of Germany’s air mobility force.

‘The unique combination of strategic and tactical capabilities, allied to a level of reliability greater than that of the previous generation aircraft that it is replacing, will transform the German Air Force’s transport operations in the coming years.’

Earlier in December, the German Air Force issued Airbus with two in-service support contracts to support the A400M’s entry into service.

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Airbus Helicopters EC175 delivery to NHV

Airbus Helicopters has handed over the first two examples of the long-awaited EC175 to launch customer NHV..

NHV has ordered a total of 16 EC175s as part of its strategy of taking market share from operators using larger EC225 and S92s, and will begin service with these first aircraft from the Dutch North Sea base of Den Helder later in December

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USAF designates Combat Rescue Helicopter HH-60W

USAF designates Combat Rescue Helicopter HH-60W | D-FENS | Scoop.it

The US Air Force has designated the Combat Rescue Helicopter as the HH-60W, it was announced on 25 November. The aircraft will be referred to as the 60-Whiskey until an official name is determined at a later date.

Sikorsky is under contract to undertake the initial engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of a programme that will see the US Air Force acquire up to 112 HH-60W aircraft to replace HH-60G Pave Hawks which began service in 1982. The aircraft will be used for personnel recovery, and will be a derivative of the UH-60M Black Hawk.

Like the Black Hawk, the 60-Whiskey will be powered by T700-GE-701D engines, with composite wide-chord main rotor blades, and fatigue- and corrosion-resistant machined aero-structures to sustain manoeuvrability at high density altitudes. The aircraft will also feature increased internal fuel capability to deliver the required range with increased internal cabin space.

Col. Michael J Schmidt, PEO for ISR and SOF, said: ‘The formal designation of HH-60W for the Combat Rescue Helicopter is a significant step in the process for replacing the US Air Force personnel recovery fleet of aging HH-60G helicopters. The Combat Rescue Helicopter programme office is working hard to provide our warfighters the capability they require to continue to conduct the critical personnel recovery mission far into the future.’

The programme’s next major step is the System Requirements Review which is scheduled for 2015, with initial deliveries expected to begin in 2019.

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Airbus Helicopters EC645 T2 Light Utility Helicopter takes flight

Airbus Helicopters EC645 T2 Light Utility Helicopter takes flight | D-FENS | Scoop.it

The Airbus Helicopters EC645 T2 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) has completed its first flight at the company’s Donauwörth location in Bavaria.

The EC645 T2 is the military version of the civil EC145 T2. The multi-role aircraft can be used for a range of operations, including transportation, reconnaissance, search and rescue, fire support, and evacuations of wounded personnel.

The German Air Force has 15 EC645 T2 aircraft on order, and representatives from the German armed forces attended the helicopter’s first flight. Airbus Helicopters is on track to commence deliveries in 2015. 

Ralf Barnscheidt, head of the German military support center, said: ‘This first flight is a milestone in the EC645 T2 programme and we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate this event with our customer. We’re right on schedule to deliver the first EC645 T2 helicopters in the coming year. This is also a product of the close-knit collaboration between the Airbus Helicopters and Bundeswehr project teams.’ 

With a maximum takeoff weight of 3.7 tons, the EC645 T2 is equipped with the Helionix digital avionics suite, including the 4-axis autopilot, and is optimised for day and night missions in all weather conditions. It is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2E engines and is equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC).

The aircraft’s mission equipment range also includes a fast roping system for troops, cargo hooks, hoists, various weapons and electro-optical sensors. Ballistic protective equipment and an electronic countermeasures system that detects threats help protect the helicopter and crew.

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Rendezvous and docking of Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft at ISS on Nov. 24, 2014

Rendezvous and docking of Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft at ISS on Nov. 24, 2014 | D-FENS | Scoop.it
Russian mission control chart for #SoyuzTMA15M rendezvous with #ISS tonight. More details: http://russianspaceweb.com/iss_soyuz_tma15m.html … pic.twitter.com/uz2w4R8EgB
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Elbit Systems receives German DIRCM contract - Directed Infrared Counter Measure

Elbit Systems receives German DIRCM contract - Directed Infrared Counter Measure | D-FENS | Scoop.it

Elbit Systems’ J-MUSIC Multi-Spectral Directed Infrared Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems will equip the German Air Force’s new Airbus A400 aircraft under a new contract from DIEHL Defence announced on 17 November.

The system will be integrated into a multi-turret DIRCM system, to provide 360° self-protection for the aircraft against ground-to-air heat seeking man-portable missiles (MANPADS).

The contract is for the first phase of the German Air Force’s A400M Self-Protection programme and will be performed over a one-year period.

Bezhalel Machlis, president and CEO, Elbit Systems, said: ’We are proud of our cooperation with DIEHL Defence on DIRCM that has resulted in this initial contract for the protection of the German Air Force’s A400M aircraft. 

‘Our DIRCM systems provide effective protection to the growing threat of MANPADS, and we hope that additional customers will follow and select our systems as their preferred solution.’

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Kommandowechsel an der Heeresfliegerwaffenschule Bückeburg

Kommandowechsel an der Heeresfliegerwaffenschule Bückeburg | D-FENS | Scoop.it

Die von tief greifenden, strukturellen, materiellen, personellen und quantitativen Veränderungen gebeutelten Heeresflieger haben einen neuen General und die Heeresfliegerwaffenschule einen neuen Kommandeur. Im Rahmen eines feierlichen Appells wurde Freitagmorgen auf dem Heeresflugplatz Achum Oberst Uwe Klein mit der Aufgabe des Schulkommandeurs und Generals der Heeresflieger betraut und Brigadegeneral Alfons Mais nach nur eineinhalbjähriger Standzeit in Bückeburg seines Kommandos entbunden. Er ist bereits Chef des Stabes des Kommando Heer in Strausberg. Die Übergabe erfolgte durch den Kommandeur des Ausbildungskommandos, Generalmajor Walter Spindler. Er übernahm die Truppenfahne der Heeresflieger von General Mais und gab sie an Oberst Klein weiter. Oberst Klein meldete Vollzug: „Die Heeresfliegerwaffenschule hört auf mein Kommando.“ Anschließend ertönte ndie französische und die deutsche Nationalhymne. Dann marschierte der Ehrenzug mit Heeresmusikkorps Kassel an der Spitze und den Klängen des „Alexandermarsch“ aus der Halle 5 aus. Der Halle, in der vor dem Fähigkeitstransfer zur Luftwaffe die CH-53 gewartet worden ist. Mehrere hundert Ehrengäste mit Landrat Jörg Farr und Bürgermeister Reiner Brombach an der Spitze verfolgten den Appell. „Ein Zeichen ihrer Unterstützung für die Bundeswehr im Allgemeinen und ein Zeichen der Wertschätzung gegenüber der Heeresfliegerwaffenschule im Besonderen“, so der scheidende Kommandeur Alfons Mais in seiner Ansprache. Sowohl er als auch Generalmajor Spindler gingen in ihren Ansprachen auf das Thema Einsatzbereitschaft der neuen Hubschraubertypen ein, die in den vergangenen Wochen in ganz erheblichem Maße die Medienlandschaft beherrscht hätten.

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Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopter takes flight

Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopter takes flight | D-FENS | Scoop.it
The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopter has completed its first flight from the Bell Helicopter Mirabel, Québec manufacturing facility.

According to Yann Lavalle, senior flight test pilot at Bell Helicopter, the aircraft performed ‘exactly as anticipated’ during the thirty minute flight.

Eric Emblin, senior flight test pilot at Bell Helicopter, added: ‘We hovered in the Bell 505, performed a low-speed controllability assessment and flew two laps in the local traffic pattern. Our top speed today was 60 knots, and the entire flight lasted approximately 30 minutes.’

Bell Helicopter unveiled the Jet Ranger X at HELI-Expo 2014 in February and has received more than 240 letters of intent for the new model.
 
The helicopter features a high visibility cockpit equipped with the Garmin G1000H Integrated Avionics Suite, and is powered by the Turbomeca Arrius 2R engine with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). Additional safety features include a high inertia rotor system delivering advanced autorotation capabilities.
 
The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X is a five-seat, single-engine, turbine helicopter with a cruise speed of 125+ knots, range of over 360 nautical miles and useful load of 1,500 pounds. Designed as a multi-mission helicopter, the aircraft has a fully flat floor, increased cabin volume and clam shell doors to enhance configuration flexibility.
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Mi-17V-5 helicopter deliveries to Afghanistan complete

Mi-17V-5 helicopter deliveries to Afghanistan complete | D-FENS | Scoop.it

Deliveries of Mi-17V-5 military-transport helicopters to the Afghan National Army are now complete, with a total of 63 helicopters produced and delivered under the Russian-US cooperation agreement signed in May 2011.

The helicopters have been produced at Kazan Helicopters, part of Russian Helicopters, and supplied by Rosoboronexport on behalf of the Russian Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation (FSVTS Russia). 

The helicopters were ordered by the US Army Forces Command under three contracts to equip the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) with transport helicopters capable of performing in the harsh Afghanistan climate and mountainous terrain.

The Mi-17V5, known as the Mi-8MTV-5 in Russia, is a military transport helicopter developed from the Mi-17 (Mi-8MT) medium multirole helicopter. It can transport up to 4,000kg of various kinds of cargo either inside the cabin or on an external sling.

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Hauptaufgabe Evakuierung: Bundeswehr plant europäischen Hubschrauber-Verband

Hauptaufgabe Evakuierung: Bundeswehr plant europäischen Hubschrauber-Verband | D-FENS | Scoop.it

Die Bundeswehr bemüht sich nach Angaben aus Parlamentskreisen um die Aufstellung eines europäischen Hubschrauber-Verbandes, dessen Hauptaufgabe die Evakuierung Verletzter und Verwundeter sein soll. Die Armee werbe derzeit um Partnernationen, die sich daran beteiligten, sagte hieß es am Dienstag in den Kreisen. Erwogen werde dazu die Beschaffung von 22 Transport-Hubschraubern des Typs NH90 von Airbus, für die die Bundeswehr noch eine Option habe.

Angedacht sei, dass die Partner diese Helikopter jeweils im Doppelpack kauften. Die sogenannten Medevac-Hubschrauber sind auch im Einsatz stets zu zweit unterwegs: Eine Maschine ist mit Medizintechnik ausgestattet, die zweite fliegt bewaffnet zu ihrem Schutz mit.


Unklar blieb zunächst, ob die Bundeswehr sich am Kauf der Hubschrauber beteiligt oder Helikopter aus ihrer bestehenden NH90-Flotte einbringt. Komme der neue Verband zustande, solle er voraussichtlich in Deutschland stationiert werden, hieß es in den Parlamentskreisen. Die Bundeswehr wolle die Infrastruktur stellen, während die Partnernationen Hubschrauber und Piloten beisteuern sollten. Die Niederlande hätten bereits Interesse angemeldet.

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