MARIGNANE, France, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Germany's armed forces have received the first of 40 CH-53 transport helicopters being modernized by Eurocopter.
Under the three-year modernization program, being conducted at the French company's Military Support Center Germany, CH-53Gs are receiving a comprehensive upgrade to the CH-53GA specification.
"This CH-53GA upgrade is an impressive example of our close and fruitful partnership with the Bundeswehr, which has seen us working together to implement necessary improvements for the helicopter's future mission requirements," said Ralf Barnscheidt, senior vice president of Eurocopter Germany and head of the Military Support Center Germany.
"I want to thank all involved, including the Federal Office of Defense Administration, and those in charge of certification at the Bundeswehr Technical Center 61, the Air Force Weapon System Command and the Army Aviation School."
The CH-53GA is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics and communications systems, including a four-axis autopilot with auto-hover automatic flight control system; an electronic warfare system for threat recognition and electronic countermeasures.
Other enhancements are modular, mission-specific equipment packages such as an infrared observation system, a satellite communications package and auxiliary fuel tanks.