The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) has taken delivery of the 20th and final CH-47F Chinook transport helicopter from Boeing.
The Netherlands is one of eight NATO countries to operate the Chinook and has fielded the aircraft continuously since receiving its first CH-47D models in 1995.
In 2016, the RNLAF purchased 14 new CH-47F Chinooks from the US and decided to upgrade their remaining six D-model Chinook helicopters to the latest F-model configuration.
The contract that would ensure commonality of systems for their entire 20-aircraft fleet was signed in 2017 and saw Boeing deliver the first updated Chinook in 2020.
“Our continuing partnership with the Royal Netherlands Air Force exemplifies the value of a modern and versatile Chinook fleet,” said Ken Eland, vice president and H-47 program manager. “These state-of-the art aircraft will significantly improve their defense and humanitarian assistance capabilities.”
“This is a milestone for us. We have newer radios and newer equipment which help our pilots operate better in different environments than we do already,” said LTC Wil van Rijn, senior system integrator of the Chinook, Dutch defense ministry.
The CH-47F Chinook is an advanced multi-mission helicopter containing a fully integrated, digital cockpit management system compatible with Common Avionics Architecture System. The CH-47F also features an enhanced self-protection suite and satellite communication (SATCOM) system.
In addition to upgrading Chinooks, Boeing is also in the process of delivering upgraded Apache attack helicopters to the Netherlands. The company delivered the first AH-64E Version 6 (v6) helicopter to the Royal Netherlands Air Force in October this year as part of a 2019 foreign military sale contract to remanufacture 28 RNLAF AH-64 D-model Apaches to the advanced v6.