In the late 1960s, West Germany began a competition for a helicopter to replace Piasecki H-21 Flying Bananas and Sikorsky H-34s in West German Army service, and awarded a contract to Sikorsky for the CH-53G, basically a CH-53D without refueling probe or external tanks, in June 1968. Sikorsky provided two machines directly, and then provided kits to a group led by VFW-Fokker for the construction of 20 more. Initial flight of a German-assembled CH-53G was on 11 October 1971, with the type going into West German Army service in 1973. 90 more CH-53Ds were built in West Germany
with a decreasing level of Sikorsky content, for a total of 112 machines in West German service.