First RNLAF AH-64 Apache Helicopters Shipped to US for AH-64E V6 Upgrade

The first three Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) AH-64D Block II Apache attack helicopters have left the Netherlands to be upgraded to AH-64E V6 configuration at Boeing production facility in Arizona.

The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract signed with the U.S. government for the upgrade is valued at more than $1 billion and includes the modernization of 28 RNLAF AH-64D helicopters as well as the training of Dutch pilots at Ft. Hood, Texas.

Boeing AH-64 Apache is an American four-blade, twin-turboshaft attack helicopter considered as one of the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter.

The AH-64E Guardian, formerly known as AH-64D Block III, is the latest variant of the AH-64 Apache. The AH-64E features improved digital connectivity, the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTDS), more powerful T700-GE-701D turboshaft engines with upgraded face gear transmission to accommodate more power, capability to control unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), full Instrument flight rules (IFR) capability, and improved landing gear.

The Apache Guardian is armed with an M230 30mm automatic chain gun carried between the forward-positioned main landing gears. It has four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons, capable of carrying a mixture of Hellfire II air-to-ground missiles (AGM), Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems (APKWS) II guided rocket pods, 2.75 in. Hydra rocket pods and FIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missiles (AAM).

The helicopter features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems and can also be equipped with the AN/APG-78 Longbow millimeter-wave fire-control radar (FCR), housed in a dome located above the main rotor.

Boeing has delivered more than 2,200 Apaches, across the variants, to customers around the world since the aircraft entered production with the primary customer being the U.S. Army.



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