Service history of the Boeing CH-47 Chinook with the RNLAF
The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engine, tandem rotor
heavy-lift helicopter. Its primary roles are troop movement, artillery
placement and battlefield resupply. It has a wide loading ramp at the
rear of the fuselage and three external-cargo hooks. The Chinook was
designed and initially produced by Boeing Vertol in the early 1960s and
it is now produced by Boeing Rotorcraft Systems. With over 1,200 built
to date the Boeing CH-47 Chinook has been sold to 16 nations.
Delivery to the Royal
Netherlands Air Force
The Netherlands signed an agreement with the Canadian government early
in 1993 to acquire 7 Boeing CH 147 Chinooks that were no longer being
used by the Canadian Armed Forces. In December 1993, the number of
Chinooks was set at 13 (7 used and 6 new), with the second-hand Chinooks
being modernised to the same standard as the one's being purchased new.
Boeing delivered the modernised Chinooks to the Royal Netherlands Air
Force between August 1995 and February 1996. The 6 new Chinooks were
delivered in 1998. They have a modern 'glass cockpit' with digital
read-outs instead of traditional dials and meters..
All Dutch Chinooks beginning with D-66, as in D-661 through D-667, were
ex-Canadian C model Chinooks converted to D-models. The flight hours
were reset to zero upon the conversion. The Dutch Hooks beginning with
D-10, as in D-101 through D-106, were brand new helicopters. All
thirteen helicopters were equipped with glass cockpits, the Full
Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) system, and had weather radar
incorporated into the nose
The Canadian Chinooks date from 1974 and were thoroughly updated and
modified by Boeing. The retrofitting brought them up to the more modern
CH-47D standard. In addition to modern communications equipment and
avionics, the D version also has greater lifting capability. There are
three hooks under the aircraft that can carry a load up to 12,700
kilogrammes. That is twice as much as its predecessors could carry.
Eleven CH-47D Chinooks out of 13 delivered still remain in Dutch service
and the strain is starting to show on these rotary wing assets, two
where written off in 2005 (serials D-105 and D-106). The seven
ex-Canadian CH-147s in particular are increasingly showing signs of
A procurement process is currently running to acquire 6 new
CH-47F Chinooks (serials D-890 to D-895). That is partly to replace the
two Chinooks that were lost and partly to meet the major requirement for
heavy transport helicopters. The new CH-47F Chinooks have been
delivered, three will go to Gilze Rijen and the other three to the Joint
Netherlands Training Detachment at Fort Hood Texas.
Concurrently, the Joint Netherlands Training Detachment at Fort Hood in
the United States also received its CH-47F Chinooks. The the Joint
Netherlands Training Detachment already operated eight Dutch AH-64Ds and
will get three CH-47F Chinooks, the last of which arrived directly from
Boeing in the beginning of this year.
Deployments to the Balkan.
Dutch Chinooks have been deployed around the world. They provided
support to the Kosovo Force (KFOR) and Operation Allied Harbour in
Albania, and to UNMEE (Eritrea) in 2000 and 2001. In 2002, Chinooks were
active in support of the SFOR peacekeeping force in Bosnia. The Chinooks
also supported the SFIR operation in Iraq in 2003 and 2004. This was
followed in 2005 and 2006 by Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in
Afghanistan. Chinook helicopters also flew in Afghanistan from May 2007
to October 2010 as part of the ISAF operation.
As part of KFOR, 3 Chinooks were stationed in the Balkans in 1999. They
were used extensively for transporting Kosovar refugees and supplies.
They flew more than 700 missions, transporting several hundred refugees
and 545 tonnes of supplies by air.
From January 2001 to the end of May 2004, 10 detachments from the Royal
Netherlands Air Force took part in SFOR, initially with 5 Cougars and
later with 4 Chinooks flying out of Divulje Barracks in Split. Starting
in July 2002, 2 Cougars operated out of the Dutch SFOR base in Bugojno.
One of the tasks during that deployment was transporting the members of
the Incident Response Team to the location of casualties among the SFOR
units and the medical evacuation of casualities to hospital (medevac).
In 3.5 years, the Cougars and Chinooks logged approximately 4,300 flying
hours carrying out nearly 750 IRT missions and 280 medevac missions.
Stabilisation Force Iraq
From July 2003 to November 2005, 3 Chinook and 4 Cougar helicopters
alternated in operating out of Tallil Air Base in Iraq, supported by
approximately 100 flight-support military personnel. The detachment
provided tactical air support to the other Dutch units in the SFIR
security force. One of the aircraft was also on standby for medical
Operation Enduring Freedom/International Security Assistance Force
From May 2005 to June 2006, 3 Chinooks provided support to the Dutch
Special Forces in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in southern
Since May 2007, Chinooks have operated regularly from Kandahar Airfield
in Afghanistan in support of the ISAF mission. Those Chinooks are part
of the Air Task Force (ATF) that provides support to Regional Command
South to the Dutch Task Force Uruzgan units and coalition partners.