Netherlands Ministry of Defence, August 16, 2020 - The first 2 new CH-47F Chinook transport helicopters have entered service at the US military base Fort Hood. The helicopters are used for education and training. The Defense Helicopter Command expects the first aircraft to arrive in the Netherlands early next year.
In time, the Royal Netherlands Air Force must have a fleet of 20 aircraft in the latest, identical version. Of these, 15 are stationed at 298 Squadron in Gilze-Rijen and 5 at 302 Squadron at Fort Hood.
From 1995, the Air Force put 13 Chinooks in the D (elta) version into service. Of these, 2 were lost in 2005 during the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Between 2008 and 2012, the fleet was expanded with 6 new helicopters in the F (oxtrot) version.
Maintenance difficult and expensive
After 20 years of deployment, the maintenance of the 11 'Deltas' will become too difficult and expensive. The fuselage is outdated and certain parts of the cockpit are no longer made. In addition, the deployment options are decreasing due to lagging behind in technological developments.
In 2015, the Ministry of Defense bought 14 Chinook Foxtrot MYII CAAS aircraft with some modifications necessary for the Netherlands. In addition, it was decided to modernize the current Foxtrot models to the same Foxtrot MYII CAAS standard.
The CH-47F Chinooks will include a fully digital cockpit management system with integrated communication systems, navigation systems and enhanced self-defense equipment. As a result, pilots know more about their environment and operational effectiveness is increased.
The renewed maintenance system detects wear and tear at an early stage. This makes earlier and more targeted maintenance possible, which increases availability. The new configuration also leads to lower costs.
Netherlands’ Chinook purchase strengthens Coalition
US Army, August 12, 2020 - REDSTONE ARSENAL, AL by Adriane Elliot – The spring 2020 delivery of CH-47F Chinooks and other materiel and services to the Royal Netherlands Air Force is a critical step in deterring regional threats and strengthening U.S.-Coalition capabilities.
The Netherlands purchased the U.S. military’s twin-engine heavy-lift helicopters through a $755M foreign military sales (FMS) case executed by Redstone Arsenal’s U.S. Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC).
The ongoing split delivery began in the spring. Aircraft delivered to Huntsville, Alabama, is undergoing modifications while aircraft that will be delivered to the Netherlands later this year will be fielded by the Dutch military. Several of the aircraft have also been delivered to the largest active duty U.S. military base in the world—Fort Hood, Texas—where RNAF troops will train on them. At the sprawling 340-square mile installation, U.S. and Dutch troops have been conducting joint combat training for two decades.
According to USASAC case manager Heath Bedard, the Dutch military has permanent staff stationed at Fort Hood and hundreds of Dutch troops deploy to Texas year-round to conduct exercises. Bedard has been working FMS for nine years and called this most recent delivery, and the relationship between the two nations, a perfect example of the success and benefits of our nation’s foreign policy strategy. “It really is a win-win for everyone. This case naturally helps our Dutch partners improve their homeland defense, but it also improves regional stability and bolsters the strength of the NATO alliance,” he said.
Specifically, Bedard said the Chinook acquisition will enhance everything from troop movement, medical evacuation and aircraft recovery to parachute drop, search and rescue, and firefighting operations.
“That’s a significant component of the USASAC mission – building partner capacity,” he said. “The other part of that benefits the larger team, because now we have a partner nation who is better able to provide direct support to Coalition operations and other security cooperation activities. This lessens the load for the U.S. and its allies.
Strong allies provide increased interoperability on the battlefield, nation-to-nation agreements that enable freedom of movement and maneuver and the combined strength to help deter wars. They also provide the might to fight and win wars, if necessary.
Bedard said it is clear to see how the strength of one partner impacts the strength of the Coalition. “And that’s why strengthening alliances and attracting new partners is key to our National Defense Strategy, and Army and DOD leaders continue to reinforce allies and partners as a priority.
For more information about USASAC and how its foreign military sales mission supports our National Defense Strategy, visit www.army.mil/usasac. For more information on the U.S-Netherlands relationship, visit https://www.state.gov/u-s-relations-with-the-netherlands/.