The US Program Executive Office (PEO) announced on 10 January 2024, that it has delivered two new AH-64E Version 6 Apache Guardian attack helicopters to the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) from an order of 28 scheduled to be completed in 2025. 

The State Department approved the sale of the 28 Apaches in February 2018 in a contract then estimated to be worth $1.2bn, according to a Defense Security Cooperation Agency notice published at the time, reasoning that the proposed sale would support the foreign policy and security objectives of the US by improving the security of a Nato ally. The contract was later awarded by the Department of Defense to Boeing in 2019.

The aircraft were remanufactured from AH-64D helicopters already serving in the the RNLAF fleet, combining the original parts with reset systems and new component systems, including new composite rotor blades and an upgraded gearbox, as well as upgraded communications, navigation, sensors, data correlation and pilot cognitive decision aiding systems. 

The remanufacture of the Apaches, an air frame Netherlands have employed since 1998, includes the upgrade of T700-GE-701C Engines to T700-GE-701D.

Among Major Defence Equipment (MDE) systems installed, the avionics suite will include a new fire control radar, a modernised target acquisition and designation system and modernised pilot night vision sensor. There are also modernised radar frequency interferometers, embedded global positioning systems, and inertial navigation systems with multi-mode receivers. 

While the Apache’s that were delivered by the the US Army on 7 December are remanufactured from existing units, they are considered new aircraft according to the PEO.

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“The successful delivery of the new AH-64E v6 Apache is a turning point for the Netherlands and is emblematic of the significant long-term partnership between the US Army and the RNLAF,” said Alexa Alejo, a product manager with PEO Aviation’s Apache project office. “The Apache is the most advanced attack helicopter, and the RNLAF is gaining a significant increase in attack power, versatility, situational awareness, and interoperability.”

Boeing handed over the first of the remanufactured Apache helicopters to the RNLAF in October 2022.