The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of CH-47F Chinook helicopters and associated equipment to the Netherlands.
Under the estimated $1.05bn sale, the Netherlands has requested for the supply of 17 CH-47F cargo helicopters with customer unique post-modifications, along with 46 T55-GA-714A aircraft turbine engines with hydro-mechanical assembly including 34 installed and 12 spares, and 41 embedded global positioning system / inertial navigation systems.
The US will also supply 54 AN/ARC-231 ultra high frequency / very high frequency radios, 21 AN/ARC-220 high frequency radios, 21 AN/APX-123A identification friend or foe transponders, as well as 41 AN/ARC-201D very high frequency radios.
The package is approved by the US State Department. It also includes spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools and test equipment, personnel training and training equipment, logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and programme support.
It is expected that the CH-47F aircraft sale will augment the Netherlands' capability to address current and future requirements for troop movement, medical evacuation, aircraft recovery, parachute drop, search and rescue, disaster relief, fire-fighting, and heavy construction support.
In particular, the aircraft will supplement and replace the Royal Netherlands Air Force's aging fleet of CH-47 helicopters, and will be used to strengthen the country's homeland defence, deter regional threats, and provide direct support to coalition and security cooperation efforts.
Boeing Helicopters has been named as prime contractor for the FMS programme.
The CH-47F Chinook is powered by Honeywell T55-GA-714A engines. It is an upgraded version of the D model, and is used for military, humanitarian, disaster relief, search and rescue, and fire-fighting operations.
The helicopter contains a fully integrated, digital cockpit management system, common aviation architecture cockpit and advanced cargo-handling capabilities, and can fly at speeds of more than 175mph, with a payload exceeding 21,000lb.
Image: A Royal Netherlands Air Force's CH-47F Chinook helicopter in flight. Photo: courtesy of Alf van Beem.