RNLAF receives first upgraded CH-47F

Boeing has delivered the first CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift tactical transport helicopter with an upgraded cockpit to the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF).

The CH-47F – registration D-472 – is the first of 20 aircraft to be delivered to the RNLAF, having been handed over at Boeing’s production facility in Philadelphia on April 3. The integration means that the RNLAF’s Chinook fleet share more commonality with the platform’s employed by the US Army, featuring enhanced digital automatic flight controls, a Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) glass cockpit and advanced cargo handling capabilities.

Boeing states that this upgrade will provide the air arm with a common configuration, which will ultimately lead to lower life-cycle costs. The company adds that deliveries to the RNLAF are expected to continue into 2021.

Upgraded Dutch CH-47F [Boeing/Fred Troilo] #1
Boeing handed over its first new-build CH-47F Chinook – serial D-472 (c/n M7472) – to the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) on April 3, 2020. Boeing/Fred Troilo

Andy Builta, vice president of Cargo and Utility Helicopters and H-47 programme manager at Boeing, said: “The RNLAF made it clear to us that they need the advanced, proven capability of the CH-47F now… 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.”

The RNLAF currently operates a mixed fleet of four CH-47Fs with the Advanced Cockpit Management System (ACMS) and 11 CH-47Ds, which will be withdrawn from operational use as the new CH-47Fs enter service.

Col Koen van Gogh of the Netherlands Defence Materiel Organisation (NDMO), added: “It has been a pleasure to work closely together with the US Army and Boeing teams to achieve this milestone… 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 US Army officials that helped keep us on track.”