Boeing has officially handed over the 20th and last CH-47F Chinook transport helicopter to the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) in Philadelphia, US.
The delivery marks the completion of the Netherlands’ efforts to ensure system commonality for its Chinook helicopter fleet.
The RNLAF’s upgraded Chinook fleet features new integrated communication and navigation systems, and a digital cockpit management system that is compatible with Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS).
According to the Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD), the new aircraft fleet also includes several enhanced self-defence tools and the latest weapon systems that will allow the forces to connect and deliver information-driven and networked performance.
Boeing vice-president and H-47 programme manager Ken Eland said: “Our continuing partnership with the RNLAF exemplifies the value of a modern and versatile Chinook fleet.
“These state-of-the-art aircraft will significantly improve their defence and humanitarian assistance capabilities.”
In 2017, Boeing secured a contract to upgrade RNLAF’s D-model Chinook Chinook fleet to the latest F-model configuration.
It was followed by the delivery of the first upgraded aircraft to RNLAF in April 2020.
The RNLAF’s first two Chinooks arrived at Woensdrecht Air Base in the Netherlands in January 2021, where the aircraft underwent final modifications.
This process will be followed by all the remaining aircraft, before their entry into the service again.
The RNLAF is currently using ten Chinook transport aircraft. Another five helicopters are in Fort Hood and are expected to resume their operations by the end of 2024.
Dutch MoD Chinook senior system integrator lieutenant colonel Wil van Rijn said: “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.”