Royal Netherlands Air Force received its first Chinook F / CAAS helicopter

The first Chinook F / CAAS was handed over to Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF). This is another important step in the transition to the 5th generation air force. A total of 20 Chinooks will be modernized or replaced.

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Royal Netherlands Air Force received its first Chinook F CAAS helicopter 01 CH-47F MYII CAAS (Picture source: NL Defensie)

On September 7, 2015, Dutch Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert announced the replacement of the 11 CH-47Ds with 14 new CH-47F MYII CAAS (Common Avionics Architecture System, the standard version of the US Army) type aircraft.

As for the 6 CH-47Fs, it was decided to modernize them through a special program in order to have a standard capacity of 20 helicopters. They were completely dismantled to make the necessary modifications. 

The CH-47F aircraft has a suite of improved features such as an upgraded digital cockpit featuring the Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS), a new monolithic airframe with vibration reduction, and the Digital Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS), which provides coupled controllability for operations in adverse environments (reduced visibility, brown out, high winds). The CH-47F's common cockpit enables multiservice digital compatibility and interoperability for improved situational awareness, mission performance, and survivability, as well as future growth potential. The CH-47F has an empty weight of 24,578 pounds and a maximum gross weight of 50,000 pounds. The CH-47F can lift intra-theater payloads up to 16,000 pounds in high/hot environments.

The 298th Defense Helicopter Command Squadron welcomed its first Chinook to the Gilze-Rijen base in a small ceremony with the presence of Secretary of State for Defense Barbara Visser. Delivery of the transport helicopters will run through the end of the year. Of the 20 aircraft, 15 will be stationed in the Netherlands at Gilze-Rijen and the remaining 5 at Fort Hood in the United States as part of the 302nd Squadron for training and instruction.

Royal Netherlands Air Force received its first Chinook F CAAS helicopter 02 New Dutch Chinook helicopter's characteristics(Picture source: NL Defensie)