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German Federal Police plans helicopter fleet renewal

Germany's Bundespolizei federal police hopes to launch in the next 12 months a procurement effort to replace a significant number of the helicopters operated by its air support division.

That acquisition will focus on the 19 ageing Airbus Helicopters H155 medium-twins – the first of which was delivered in 1999, according to Cirium fleets data - and the most elderly examples of its heavier AS332 L1s, the oldest of which arrived in 1982. In total, 12 of the early Super Pumas are around 30 years old.

But Matthias Achteresch, head of administration and financial director of the air support operation, says that the refleeting depends on the allocation of budget from the German parliament.

If this is forthcoming, the tender process could begin "next year or 2021" leading to deliveries in the 2023-2024 timeframe.

Achteresch says the Budespolizei is looking to replace the two helicopter models with a single type in the 9-10t class, narrowing the field to the H215, H225, the Leonardo AW189 and possibly the Bell 525.

He was speaking at an event on 6 September to mark the handover of its fourth and final H215 from a 2016 contract – the Super Puma family's 1,000th delivery – an acquisition driven by the transfer of responsibility for coastal search and rescue missions from the country's military.

On that occasion the H215 was selected due to commonality with the existing fleet, and although Achteresch says it will run and "open tender" for the new requirement, considerations around logistics, training and support will again be key.

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