The Dutch Ministry of Defence is planning to purchase four Boeing CH-47F transport helicopters, as part of plans to expand the existing fleet of Boeing helicopters.
The country is also planning to modernise six existing helicopters in a bid to enhance its airspace capabilities.
Currently, the Netherlands operates 11 Chinooks of the type CH-47D, and six of the type CH-47F (NL).
The D variants are scheduled to be retired and replaced by 14 Chinooks of the type CH-47F, which are expected to be delivered from 2019.
Earlier, the Dutch defence ministry planned to purchase the new aircraft in its preferred CH-47F (NL) configuration. However, the limited budget resulted in the acquisition of the US Army’s F-model Chinook.
Under an estimated $1.05bn sale, through US Foreign military sale, the Netherlands will receive 17 CH-47F cargo helicopters with customer specific post-modifications, along with 46 T55-GA-714A aircraft turbine engines with hydro-mechanical assembly.
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.
The Dutch aircraft will receive modifications to meet the nation’s operational demands and certification standards.
It includes the installation of crash-protected seats in the cockpit and cabin, and a VHF radio to enable secure communications with ground forces.
The aircraft will also feature self-protection and icing detection equipment, a fast rope insertion and extraction system and an emergency locator transmitter.
Image: A Boeing CH-47F helicopter. Photo: courtesy of Staff Sgt. Nathan Hoskins.