By Mike Stone
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of CH-47F Chinook helicopters and related equipment to Germany for as much as $8.5 billion, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
Germany announced its intent to buy 60 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters from Boeing last year to replace its ageing CH-53 fleet.
The package includes 140 engines including 20 spares, missile warning systems, radios, transponders, navigation systems, a suite of modifications and technical support, the Pentagon said.
The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the possible sale on Thursday.
Despite approval by the State Department, the notification does not indicate that a contract has been signed or that negotiations have concluded.
It would take three years to deliver the aircraft, according to the company.
Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz shifted policy in February 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine, sharply increasing defense spending and committing 100 billion euros for the Bundeswehr, Germany's armed forces.
(Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by David Gregorio)