The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) has replaced five Cougar helicopters used in transport missions in southern Afghanistan with CH-47 Chinooks.

The Chinooks will help the air force transport people and equipment within the ISAF mission area.

They were transported to Afghanistan by an Antonov cargo aircraft.

A multimission, heavy-lift transport helicopter, the Chinook’s primary mission is to move troops, artillery, ammunition, fuel, water, barrier materials, supplies and equipment.

Medical evacuation, disaster relief, search and rescue, aircraft recovery, firefighting, parachute drops, heavy construction and civil development are part of its secondary mission.

The last two Cougars left Afghanistan for the Netherlands in an Antonov An-124 cargo plane.

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Since October 2009, the Cougars have carried out 271 missions in southern Afghanistan, spread over 1,096 flight hours and transported over 6,400 passengers and 128,000kg of freight.