U.S. Approves $8.5 Billion Chinook Helicopter Sales to Germany

The U.S. State Department 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 had announced its intention to buy 60 Boeing-made heavy-lift helicopters last year to replace its aging 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.

German Chancellor Scholz shifted policy in February 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine, sharply increasing defense spending and committing €100 billion for Germany’s armed forces.

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EU Set to Impose Eighth Sanctions Package on Russia

European Union foreign ministers agreed on Wednesday to for an eighth sanctions package on Russia and increase weapons deliveries to Ukraine after Putin ordered the country’s first mobilization since World War II. The decision was made during the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, where the bloc’s 27 foreign ministers are present. 

U.S. Renewable Developers Encouraged by Grid Connection Forecasts

U.S. grid connection costs are rising as more new projects are requiring grid expansions and this trend is expected to continue over the coming years as more developers are looking to take advantage of tax credits in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Therefore, access to transmission data is becoming crucial for wind and solar developers as they confront the challenges of rising grid connection costs and growing approval queues, which have been growing and at the same time delaying projects, as grid operators are struggling to deal with a large number of applications. The number of requests hiked by 40% in 2022 to over 700 GW as demand for solar and storage projects soared.

U.S. Launches Inquiry into Raiffeisen Bank’s Russia Business

The United States sanctions authority has launched an investigation into Austrian lender Raiffeisen Bank’s Russia business, increasing scrutiny of the bank that plays a key role in the Russian economy. The bank said it had received a request from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in January to “clarify payments business and related processes maintained by RBI in light of the recent developments related to Russia and Ukraine.” OFAC asked for details of Raiffeisen’s involvement in Russia, partially occupied Donbas region, Ukraine and Syria, including about the transactions and activity of certain clients.

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