A CH-47F Chinook helicopter assigned to 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade maneuvers with a sling loaded M1114 Up-Armored Humvee from 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team during a sling load training event at Saunders pick-up zone on Fort Bragg, North Carolina, April 4. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army
Six Boeing Chinooks from the Royal Ministry of Defence are set to get upgrades. The manufacturer said Thursday it signed an agreement with the ministry to upgrade the helicopters to the latest F-model configuration.
The deal, Boeing said, ensures commonality of systems for their entire fleet of 20 CH-47Fs. Deliveries are planned to begin in 2021.
“Ever since their introduction in the mid-1990s, the Chinooks have been continuously involved in almost all of our missions abroad, but also in disaster relief operations and in domestic support,” said Col. Koen van Gogh, Defence Materiel Organisation project leader. “A true versatile workhorse of our defense organization.”
The upgrade includes advanced operational capabilities, provided by the common avionics architecture system cockpit with an integrated digital automatic flight control system, Boeing said. The common avionics architecture system also aligns with the U.S Army and other allies.
“Our longstanding close partnership with the Netherlands played an important role in achieving their objective of a standardized fleet of CH-47F Chinooks,” said Chuck Dabundo, VP of Boeing Cargo Helicopters and H-47 program manager. “Worldwide interest in Chinooks continues to grow. This is the eighth international order since 2015, and it grows the operational Chinook fleet within NATO. There is no doubt the Chinook is the world’s premier heavy-lift helicopter with a long future will continue to serve our customers for decades to come.”
The Netherlands acquired 14 CH-47Fs through the U.S. Defense Department's Foreign Military Sales program, Boeing said. The Chinook is on order or operated by 20 countries, including eight NATO nations: Canada, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and the U.S.