BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s planned purchase of 60 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters manufactured by Boeing to replace its ageing CH-53 fleet could cost almost twice as much as planned, Business Insider reported on Thursday, citing several government and industry sources.
Six billion euros ($6.47 billion) had been budgeted for the helicopters, but the U.S. Army has signalled to Germany that the desired equipment is cost-intensive as some components have not even been fully developed, the German news outlet said.
These expensive extra requests and inflation could raise the price to as much as 12 billion euros, it said.
“We haven’t yet received the letter of offer and acceptance from the U.S., so we cannot make any statement as to the price,” a ministry spokesperson in Berlin said.
Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz shifted policy in February after Russia invaded Ukraine, sharply increasing defence spending and committing 100 billion euros for the Bundeswehr, Germany’s armed forces.
More than 500 Chinooks are in use by the U.S. Army and forces in Europe.
($1 = 0.9270 euros)
(Reporting by Kirsti Knolle, editing by Rachel More)