Boeing has agreed to upgrade the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s (RNLAF) fleet of Chinook helicopters to the latest F-model configuration.
Under the agreement signed with the Netherlands Ministry of Defence, Boeing will upgrade six RNLAF Chinooks to a common configuration in order to improve operational effectiveness, maintenance, and affordability.
Work under the upgrade includes integrating the common avionics architecture system (CAAS) cockpit with a digital automatic flight control system.
The CAAS will align with its allies to improve worldwide interoperability, flight-handling characteristics, and long-term sustainability, Boeing stated.
Netherlands Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) project leader colonel Koen van Gogh said: “The DMO is responsible for providing the Dutch Armed Forces with the best equipment money can buy, and our troops deserve that.
“Ever since their introduction in the mid-1990s, the Chinooks have been continuously involved in almost all of our missions abroad, but also in disaster relief operations and in domestic support.”
Delivery of the upgraded helicopters is expected to begin in 2021.
The contract will bring the total number of RNLAF’s F-model Chinooks to 20.
In 2016, the Netherlands acquired 14 CH-47F Chinooks through the US Department of Defense’s Foreign Military Sales programme.
Boeing Cargo Helicopters vice-president Chuck Dabundo said: “Worldwide interest in Chinooks continues to grow. This is the eighth international order since 2015, and it grows the operational Chinook fleet within Nato.
“There is no doubt the Chinook is the world’s premier heavy-lift helicopter, with a long future, will continue to serve our customers for decades to come.”