Boeing was awarded a new US Army Foreign Military Sales contract valued at over $308 million yesterday, April 14, to produce 12 CH-47F Chinooks for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Although a delivery schedule was not announced, previous reports have said that the first helicopters are to arrive in 2019.
As previously reported, in a letter to the Dutch Lower House on September 7 last year, Dutch Minister of Defence Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert had said that 14 new CH-47Fs would be bought, but presumably a reduced budget has cut back the final number. The total had already been cut from the planned 17 for which it had been announced that US State Department approval had been granted on March 19, 2015.
The new helicopters will join six CH-47F(NL) variants delivered to the RNLAF in 2012, which will be upgraded, although precise details of the modernisation have yet to be determined. Eleven CH-47Ds that are also currently in service will be retired once the new helicopters are delivered, his will leave the RNLAF with a fleet of 18 CH-47Fs. Alan Warnes