Boeing recently delivered the first CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopter with an upgraded cockpit to the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF).
“The RNLAF made it clear to us that they need the advanced, proven capability of the CH-47F now,” said Andy Builta, vice president of Cargo & Utility Helicopters and H-47 program manager. “I want to thank our phenomenal team for working hard during a difficult situation to safely deliver these aircraft. This is a reminder to all of us of how important Chinooks are to our customers.”
In 2016, the Netherlands acquired 14 CH-47F Chinooks through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. In 2017, the Netherlands Ministry of Defence signed an agreement to upgrade six RNLAF CH-47D Chinook helicopters to the latest F-model configuration ensuring commonality of systems for their entire fleet of 20 F-model Chinooks.
“It has been a pleasure to work closely together with the U.S. Army and Boeing teams to achieve this milestone,” said Col. Koen van Gogh, Netherlands Defence Materiel Organisation. “The Chinook helicopter is a vital asset for our missions and the in-time delivery certainly supports our operational planning. I salute the Boeing workforce for their continued efforts to make this happen in these troubling times, as well as the U.S. Army officials that helped keep us on track.”
The 20 CH-47F Chinooks will be a fleet equipped with the same state-of-the-art technology as the U.S. Army, including digital automatic flight controls, a fully-integrated Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) glass cockpit, and advanced cargo handling capabilities. The common configuration leads to lower overall life cycle costs. The F-model Chinooks will also be equipped with the Advanced Cockpit Management System (ACMS).
Deliveries to the RNLAF are expected to continue into 2021.
To date, Boeing has delivered more than 950 H-47 Chinook helicopters. Chinooks are currently in service or under contract with 20 international defense forces, including the U.S. Army, U.S. Special Operations Forces, and eight NATO member nations – Canada, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.