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First upgraded German CH-53 flies

written by australianaviation.com.au | February 11, 2010

The CH-53GA makes its maiden flight from Donauworth. (Eurocopter)
The CH-53GA during its maiden flight from Donauworth. (Eurocopter)

The first upgraded CH-53GA medium lift helicopter for the German army has made its maiden flight from Eurocopter’s Donauwörth facility near Munich.

The upgrade has been designed to extend the life of the aircraft out to 2030, and comprises improved digital avionics, cockpit displays and a new automatic flight control system; the addition of auxiliary fuel tanks in the cabin to increase range to 1200 km; upgraded communications equipment compatible with the Tiger and NH90; and the integration of a modular mission equipment package including FLIR, satellite communication system and an electronic warfare system.

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Series production of the upgrades and first deliveries back to the German army are expected to start in 2011.

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