Boeing will deliver two more CH-47F Chinooks to the Netherlands under an ongoing $541 million contract with the US Army.
Under the current multi-year buy, the US Army ordered 12 CH-47Fs last year as part of an effort to replace the Dutch CH-47Ds. The recent contract award adds two more Chinooks for the Dutch, raising the total new aircraft purchased to 14, a Boeing spokesman says in an email to FlightGlobal.
An erroneous 28 April Defense Department announcement included "renew" versions of the Chinook in the deal, but only new models are being purchased, the Boeing spokesman adds.
The Royal Netherlands Air Force plans to retire its existing fleet of 11 CH-47Ds and upgrade six previously delivered CH-47Fs.
The upgrade plans includes replacing the Honeywell advanced cockpit management system (ACMS) Block 6 suite in the CH-47F cockpit with a configuration closer to the US Army's CH-47F standard, which is based on the Rockwell Collins common avionics architecture system (CAAS).
“It turned out it’s [ACMS] no longer really affordable,” a Dutch programme manager for the Chinook acquisition told FlightGlobal at the annual Army Aviation Association of America mission systems solutions summit in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Netherlands not only wants a common cockpit across its own Chinook fleet, but wants the next system to remain as common as possible with the US Army, he says.
“There will be a few Dutch peculiar modifications, but that’s basically Netherlands airworthiness regulations,” he says. “Whatever is good for the US Army to fly in Afghanistan is probably good for the air force as well in the Netherlands.”