The United States has delivered two new AH-64E Version 6 Apache attack helicopters to the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNAF) at the Woensdrecht Air Base in Bergen op Zoom.
The two aircraft, delivered by a US Air Force C-17 airlifter, are part of a 28-unit upgrade order by the Netherlands estimated to be worth $1.2 billion.
All AH-64E choppers include enhanced weapons performance, improved sensors, and software. They can also control unmanned aerial vehicles via ground control stations.
Delivery of the upgraded helicopters is set to run until 2025.
A Brand New Aircraft
Upgrades to the country’s AH-64D fleet were drafted to help the choppers’ capabilities stay up-to-date after 20 years of service.
PEO Aviation Apache product manager Alexa Alejo explained that the helicopters are an important part of the Dutch armed forces’ modernization efforts.
“The Apache is the most advanced attack helicopter, and the RNAF is gaining a significant increase in attack power, versatility, situational awareness, and interoperability,” she said.
Although integrated with parts from the AH-64D model, all AH-64Es are considered brand-new aircraft due to their modern configurations.
A stronger GE T700-701D engine, upgraded gearbox, and new composite rotor blades round out its most significant changes.
Its combat effectiveness is also superior to that of the AH-64D due to newer versions of its navigation, data correlation, and pilot cognitive decision aiding systems.