Category Archives: Air Force

Multi Role Tanker

Airbus has formally delivered the first of eight Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft ordered by the NATO Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) after a ceremony held at the Airbus Getafe site in Spain. The official acceptance of this first aircraft marks a decisive milestone towards the entry into service of this multinational unit formed by the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic.

The above image shows the first A330 MRTT taking off during an industrial flight performed at Getafe, Spain

The aircraft will take off tomorrow towards its Main Operating Base located in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The MMF fleet will also operate from a second location, the Forward Operating Base in Cologne, Germany.

Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space, said: «The NATO MMF programme perfectly represents the future of defence cooperation and shows the true success of the pooling and sharing concept. As a trusted partner for the armed forces, Airbus is extremely proud to see its A330 MRTT at the forefront and ready to secure decisive capabilities and interoperability for NATO partner nations».

Peter Dohmen, NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) General Manager, said: «The MMF programme is a prime example of excellent cooperation between nations, the EU and NATO and the strong collaboration between OCCAR and NSPA. This unique state-of-the-art capability will enable our participating nations to perform a wide range of operations in multiple domains. We thank the nations for their continued trust in NSPA as the system manager and wish them success in their future missions».

Matteo Bisceglia, Director of the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), said: «The delivery of the first MMF aircraft marks a key milestone of the MMF ADS acquisition contract managed by OCCAR. OCCAR is proud to have delivered this aircraft to the customer on time without any shortfalls in performance or over cost. Key points for this success are the MMF Nations’ trust in the ability of NSPA and OCCAR to efficiently manage the Programme, the excellent cooperation with the EU and the willingness to succeed of the experienced MMF team».

The MMF programme is funded by the six nations which will have the exclusive right to operate the NATO-owned aircraft in a pooling arrangement. The aircraft will be configured for in-flight refuelling, the transport of passengers and cargo, and medical evacuation operations.

The European Defence Agency (EDA) initiated the MMF programme in 2012. OCCAR manages the MMF acquisition phase and the first two years of the Initial In-Service-Support as Contract Executing Agent on behalf of NSPA. Following the acquisition phase, NSPA will be responsible for the complete life-cycle management of the fleet.

The A330 MRTT combines the advanced technology of a new generation tanker with the operational experience recorded during more than 200,000 flight hours in service. The A330 MRTT is interoperable with receivers worldwide and delivers true multi-role capabilities as proven during the recent medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) and strategic transport missions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Modular Handgun System

Combat arms units across the Air Force are getting new and improved 9-mm caliber handguns to replace the M9 pistols that have been in service since 1985.

The Air Force Security Forces Center, in partnership with the Air Force Small Arms Program Office, has begun fielding the new M18 Modular Handgun System to Security Forces units. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Small Arms Program Office acquired approximately 125,000 M18s from Sig Sauer for $22.1 million (U.S. Air Force photo by Vicki Stein)

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Small Arms Program Office acquired approximately 125,000 M18s from Sig Sauer for $22.1 million, and is making them available to Air Force organizations that have a handgun requirement.

The purchase includes test ammunition as well as engineering services.

«The Air Force bought the M9s back in the 1980s, and the design has not really changed since then», said Merrill Adkison, Small Arms Program Office senior logistics manager. «M9s are larger, heavier, all-metal pistols; whereas M18s are lighter polymer pistols with a more consistent trigger pull and adjustable grips for large and small hands».

Adkison added that providing a modern handgun to Airmen was important in part due to the increasing difficulty of replacing and sustaining older technology in M9s.

In response to issues with the age and sustainment of M9s, the Air Force Security Forces Center developed the Capability Production Document for the Modular Handgun System that the Army later adopted, resulting in procurement of the M17 and M18 Modular Handgun System.

The new M18 costs the Air Force about one-third of what it would cost to buy an M9 today.

«It is important for the U.S. Air Force to move forward with improvement and replacement of weapon systems to keep pace with potential adversaries and field the best technology and equipment available for our warfighters», said Brian Lautzenheiser, lead program manager in the office. «The USAF Small Arms Program Office has worked with the Army to get these new weapons on contract and in the hands of the warfighters. We are a small team with a lot going on as we work to procure and sustain all small arms from pistols to .50 caliber ground-mounted machine guns. We have a great professional team that understands the importance of assisting the field to meet their needs».

The program office anticipates that M18 delivery will be complete by August 2022.

Low Level Flight

The Airbus A400M new generation airlifter has achieved a new decisive milestone after the certification of its Automatic Low Level Flight capability, offering a unique in its class capability for a military transport aircraft.

Airbus A400M achieves Automatic Low Level Flight certification

The certification campaign, performed in April above the Pyrenees and central France, involved operations down to 500 feet/152 m, including transitions from low level flight to other operations like aerial delivery.

This first certification phase concerns operations with Visual Meteorological Conditions, meaning with crew visibility. There will be a second phase including Instrumental Meteorological Conditions, without visibility, to be certified in Q2 2021.

Inherent to the fighter aircraft world, and as a unique capability for a military transport aircraft, the Automatic Low Level Flights improves the A400M’s terrain masking and survivability, making the aircraft less detectable in hostile areas and less susceptible to threats when cruising towards key military operations like aerial delivery, air-to-air refuelling, logistic or other specific special operations.

 

Specifications

DIMENSIONS
Overall Length 45.10 m/148 feet
Overall Height 14.70 m/48 feet
Wing Span 42.40 m/139 feet
Cargo Hold Length (ramp excluded) 17.71 m/58 feet
Cargo Hold Height 3.85-4.00 m/12 feet 7 inch-13 feet
Cargo Hold Width 4.00 m/13 feet
Cargo Hold Volume 340 m3/12,000 feet3
WEIGHTS
Maximum Take Off Weight 141,000 kg/310,850 lbs
Maximum Landing Weight 123,000 kg/271,200 lbs
Internal Fuel Weight 50,500 kg/111,300 lbs
Maximum Payload 37,000 kg/81,600 lbs
ENGINE (×4)
EuroProp International TP400-D6 11,000 shp/8,200 kW
PERFORMANCE
Maximum Operating Altitude 12,200 m/40,000 feet
Maximum Cruise Speed (TAS) 300 knots/345 mph/555 km/h
Cruise Speed Range 0.68-0.72 M
RANGE
Range with Maximum Payload (37,000 kg/81,600 lbs) 1,780 NM/2,050 miles/3,300 km
Range with 30,000 kg/66,000 lbs Payload 2,450 NM/2,796 miles/4,500 km
Range with 20,000 kg/44,000 lbs Payload 3,450 NM/3,977 miles/6,400 km
Maximum Range (Ferry) 4,700 NM/5,406 miles/8,700 km

 

100th Poseidon

The U.S. Navy received its 100th P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Boeing on May 14, 2020 as the global fleet, which also includes the Indian navy and the Australian and U.K. air forces, approaches 300,000 flight hours of hunting submarines and providing aerial reconnaissance capabilities around the world.

The 100th P-8A Poseidon built for the U.S. Navy departs Boeing Field (Boeing photo)

«We’re honored by the Navy’s faith and confidence in our employees and the P-8 Poseidon system», said Stu Voboril, vice president and program manager. «Our focus has been, and will be, on delivering the world’s best maritime patrol aircraft, bar none».

The P-8 Poseidon is a proven long-range multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and coastal operations. A military derivative of the Boeing 737 Next-Generation airplane, the P-8 Poseidon combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the battle space.

This is the 94th mission-capable airplane to enter the U.S. Navy fleet, with six additional jets used as Engineering Manufacturing Development test aircraft. The 100th fully-operational delivery is scheduled for later this year. Boeing has also delivered 12 jets to the Royal Australian Air Force, two to the U.K.’s Royal Air Force and eight P-8Is Poseidon to the Indian Navy. Multiple U.S. Navy squadrons have deployed with the P-8A Poseidon, and the Indian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force are conducting missions with the P-8 Poseidon as well.

 

Technical Specifications

Wing Span 123.6 feet/37.64 m
Height 42.1 feet/12.83 m
Length 129.5 feet/39.47 m
Propulsion 2 × CFM56-7B engines
27,000 lbs/12,237 kgf/120 kN thrust
Speed 490 knots/564 mph/908 km/h
Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km with 4 hours on station
Ceiling 41,000 feet/12,496 m
Crew 9
Maximum Take-Off Gross Weight 189,200 lbs/85,820 kg

 

Across platforms

Northrop Grumman Corporation is rapidly working on developing and fielding a gatewayONE prototype, an open system enabling translation and communication across platforms, in support of the Advanced Battle Management family of Systems (ABMS).

Northrop Grumman is helping the U.S. Air Force integrate net-centric 5th-to-5th generation aircraft communications capabilities using its multifunction, software-defined Freedom radios (Credit: U.S. Air Force)

Under the contract, awarded by the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s C3I & Networks Directorate, Northrop Grumman is providing engineering, management and technical assistance for the Air Force’s integration of net-centric 5th-to-5th generation aircraft communications capabilities and other platforms into a modular, open-architecture gateway. Testing of a flight-representative configuration will be conducted in a systems integration laboratory, on the ground, and in the air based on the four month operational demonstration pace envisioned by the Air Force Acquisition Lead, Dr. Will Roper and the Department of the Air Force Chief Architect, Preston Dunlap.

«We’re constantly advancing capabilities in networking and communications focused on large-scale modular, open architecture systems-of-systems solutions», said Roshan Roeder, vice president, communications, airborne sensors and networks division, Northrop Grumman. «We are working closely with the Air Force to design and deliver to the field, advanced communications systems quickly and affordably».

Work performed under this program will directly support live demonstrations of the Air Force’s developing Advanced Battle Management family of Systems. This capability could be used to network together the types of aircraft being developed through the Air Force’s Low-Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology initiative.

Northrop Grumman will integrate this capability – using its proven Freedom radio product line that can connect 5th-to-5th generation aircraft of a single type as well as 5th generation to 4th generation platforms – and via ABMS extend this to enable multiple 5th generation platform types to share and integrate data, helping make interoperability a reality. Freedom multifunction, software-defined radios are the heart of the F-22 integrated avionics suite and F-35 communications, navigation and identification system. Building upon investments, the company is developing affordable variants customized to fit multiple platforms.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.

First Loyal Wingman

A Boeing-led Australian industry team has presented the first unmanned Loyal Wingman aircraft to the Royal Australian Air Force, a historic milestone for the company and the Commonwealth.

Boeing Australia has built the first of three Loyal Wingman aircraft, which will serve as the foundation for the Boeing Airpower Teaming System being developed for the global defense market. The aircraft are designed to fly alongside existing platforms and use artificial intelligence to conduct teaming missions (Boeing photo)

The aircraft, which uses artificial intelligence to extend the capabilities of manned and unmanned platforms, is the first to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia in more than 50 years. It is Boeing’s largest investment in an unmanned aircraft outside of the United States.

As the first of three prototypes for Australia’s Loyal Wingman Advanced Development Program, the aircraft also serves as the foundation for the Boeing Airpower Teaming System (ATS) being developed for the global defense market.

«This is a truly historic moment for our country and for Australian defence innovation», said the Honourable Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia. «The Loyal Wingman will be pivotal to exploring the critical capabilities our Air Force needs to protect our nation and its allies into the future».

Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force, said the rollout of the first aircraft was a significant milestone in the Boeing Loyal Wingman project.

«This project is an excellent example of innovation through collaboration and what can be achieved working together with defence industry», said Air Marshal Hupfeld. «This demonstrates the importance of the relationship Air Force has with Boeing Australia and defence industry more broadly. I look forward to exploring the capabilities this aircraft may bring to our existing fleet in the future».

More than 35 members of Australian industry are supporting prototype work across four Australian states. With a global market demand for highly capable but extremely affordable unmanned aircraft, Boeing applied company-wide innovation to achieve those goals. The aircraft was engineered using a digital twin to model its structures, systems, capabilities and full life-cycle requirements; manufactured with Boeing’s largest-ever resin-infused single composite piece; and assembled using proven advanced manufacturing processes.

«We are proud to take this significant step forward with the Royal Australian Air Force and show the potential for smart unmanned teaming to serve as a force multiplier», said Kristin Robertson, vice president and general manager of Autonomous Systems for Boeing Defense, Space & Security. «We look forward to getting the aircraft into flight testing and proving out the unmanned teaming concept. We see global allies with those same mission needs, which is why this program is so important to advancing the development of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System».

The Loyal Wingman prototype now moves into ground testing, followed by taxi and first flight later this year.

Flight Tests

The Emerging Technology Combined Test Force (ET-CTF) successfully completed flight tests on its newest autonomous aircraft test bed last month at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

A Bob Violett Models ‘Renegade’ commercial, off-the-shelf, turbine-powered jet aircraft, is parked at a dry lake bed prior to a test flight at Edwards Air Force Base, March 4. The aircraft will be used as an autonomous software test bed by the 412th Test Wing’s Emerging Technology Combined Test Force (Air Force photo by Chris Dyer)

The flight tests are in support of the Skyborg project with the goal to ultimately provide an autonomous software testing package.

«We are doing function check flights of the BVM (Bob Violett Models) ‘Renegade’ commercial, off-the-shelf, turbine-powered jet aircraft», said Captain Steve DiMaio, ET-CTF, 412th Test Wing. «It is in support of the Skyborg test program testing autonomy. Currently, today we are just doing a build-up approach of expanding the envelope of the airplane, making sure all of our tunes on our autopilot are correct».

The Skyborg program is a developing software tool spearheaded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) that will allow engineers and researchers to develop autonomous capabilities. AFRL plans to have Skyborg as an Early Operational Capability as early as 2023. The ET-CTF is producing software for testing autonomous aircraft and to make them safer.

Variations of artificial intelligence such as the Automatic Ground and Air Collision Avoidance Systems have been proven to have save lives and aircraft.

The Renegade aircraft falls under the Group 3 classification of unmanned aerial systems as prescribed by the Department of Defense. This classification is for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) jets weighing more than 55 lbs./25 kg but less than 1,320 lbs./599 kg. The jet can also fly at speeds of 200 knots, or around 230 mph/370 km/h.

«It’s very similar to the previous aircraft that we used, which was called a Shockwave», DiMaio said. «This is slightly bigger; carry a little more gas (with) a bigger engine, not necessarily faster, but it is a great test bed because we have a larger payload capacity. We also have longer flight time and added capability just by that larger capacity inside».

The ET-CTF team, along with their mission partners, produce software for their test beds that push flight safety envelopes to help develop test safety procedures and requirements in the development of the Skyborg program. Engineers are able to install software updates to the aircraft and then study its flight characteristics and behavior to ensure the computer codes produce no harm to the jet and does as it is intended.

The ET-CTF team completed at total of five test flight missions with the Renegade in March, however because of recent minimum manning postures due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, the team has had to rework their upcoming test missions, said John Wilson, ET-CTF Deputy Director.

«The COVID HPCON (Health Protection Condtion) limitations are impacting the next flight of the Renegade», Wilson said. «There are plans to continue to fly the Renegade in the future, but the flights are on hold due to COVID and our current minimum manning posture».

Wilson explained that while the ET-CTF’s mission partners may have travel limitations, ET-CTF is working with them for future flight tests, and in the meantime, the unit is working on furthering their own skill sets.

«There may be opportunity for continued training as ET CTF works to maintain pilot currency», he said.

The recently completed flight testing in March was a success for the ET-CTF and the Skyborg program according to Lieutenant Colonel David Aparicio, ET-CTF Director. It proved the viability of a surrogate small UAS aircraft at a higher speed regime, greater endurance, and a larger payload capacity than previous test campaigns.

«As the 412th Test Wing continues to seek ways to support the 2018 National Defense Strategy, affordable high-speed surrogate aircraft like the Renegade are invaluable to lowering the risk to future autonomy research and development programs», he said.

Despite the current travel restrictions and COVID-19 health protection conditions, ET-CTF and its mission partners are continuing to make advances in autonomy flight test. ET-CTF continues to develop test plans and procedures remotely with its team of operators and engineers. Additionally, ET-CTF developed some innovative procedures to protect its team while providing an ever-ready test capability to support the Warfighter, Aparicio added.

First Flight

Boeing successfully completed the first flight of the F-15QA fighter, the most advanced version of the jet ever manufactured. Developed for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF), the jet demonstrated its next-generation capabilities during its 90-minute mission. The flight took off and landed from Lambert International Airport in St. Louis.

The F-15QA aircraft demonstrates its maneuverability with a vertical «Viking» takeoff during its first flight on April 13, 2020 (Boeing Photo: Eric Shindelbower)

«We are very proud of this accomplishment and looking forward with great excitement to the continued successes of this program», said Colonel Ahmed Al Mansoori, commander, QEAF F-15 Wing. «This successful first flight is an important milestone that brings our squadrons one step closer to flying this incredible aircraft over the skies of Qatar».

Boeing’s flight test team, led by Chief Test Pilot Matt Giese, implemented a precise mission checklist to test the multirole aircraft’s capabilities. The aircraft demonstrated its maneuverability during its vertical «Viking» takeoff and by pulling nine Gs, or nine times the force of earth’s gravity, in its subsequent maneuvering in the test airspace. Checks of systems such as avionics and radar were also successful. A test team monitoring the data in real time confirmed the aircraft performed as planned.

«This successful first flight is an important step in providing the QEAF an aircraft with best-in-class range and payload», said Prat Kumar, Boeing vice president and F-15 program manager. «The advanced F-15QA not only offers game changing capabilities but is also built using advanced manufacturing processes which make the jet more efficient to manufacture. In the field, the F-15 costs half the cost per flight hour of similar fighter aircraft and delivers far more payload at far greater ranges. That’s success for the warfighter».

The U.S. Department of Defense awarded Boeing a $6.2 billion contract in 2017 to manufacture 36 F-15 fighter jets for the QEAF. Boeing will begin delivering aircraft to the customer in 2021. In addition, Boeing was awarded a U.S. Air Force foreign military sale contract in 2019 for F-15QA aircrew and maintenance training for the QEAF.

The F-15QA brings to its operators next-generation technologies such as fly-by-wire flight controls, digital cockpit; modernized sensors, radar, and electronic warfare capabilities; and the world’s fastest mission computer. Increases in reliability, sustainability and maintainability allow defense operators to affordably remain ahead of current and evolving threats.

Through investments in the F-15QA platform and partnership with the U.S. Air Force, Boeing is now preparing to build a domestic variant of the advanced fighter, the F-15EX Eagle. F-15EX became a program of record for the Air Force when the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2020 was signed on December 30, 2019. In January, the Air Force issued public notifications of its intent to award sole-source a contract to Boeing for eight jets. Future plans call for as many as 144 aircraft.

Climatic Lab

An HH-60W Jolly Green II, the Air Force’s new combat search and rescue helicopter, completed a month-long trial of extremes inside the McKinley Climatic Lab April 2.

An HH-60W Jolly Green II sits under bright lights used to create heat in the McKinley Climatic Lab at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, March 19, 2020. The Air Force’s newest combat search and rescue helicopter and crews experienced temperature extremes from 120 to minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit/from 49 degrees to minus 51 degrees Celsius as well as torrential rain during the month of testing. The tests evaluate how the aircraft and its instrumentation, electronics and crew fare under the extreme conditions it will face in the operational Air Force (U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.)

The Sikorsky test aircraft endured real temperatures ranging from 120 degrees to minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit/from 49 degrees to minus 51 degrees Celsius as well as 45 mph/72 km/h winds coupled with heavy rainfall. All of those scenarios were created within the lab’s 55,000-square-foot/5,110-square-meter test chamber.

The goal of these punishing tests was to prove the new aircraft’s sustainability in any operational environment.

«Operating the HH-60W in the extreme conditions was a truly unique experience as a pilot and a tester», said Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Coates, 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron pilot, who also performed most of the testing. «Checking system performance under the stress of heat, cold, heavy wind and rain will give us real-world data regarding the helicopter’s capability to perform the rescue mission worldwide in various environments, which is exactly what the operator needs to make solid employment decisions».

Once the lab technicians created extreme environments, the aircrew would enter the aircraft and perform various test procedures. The crew would execute their preflight checklists and perform tasks to see if the extreme conditions affected any of the avionics, electronics, engine and other systems.

The aircrew performing the procedures were also test subjects themselves. Their own reactions and movements were evaluated in the harsh environments. For example, the cold-weather gear worn by the aircrew is much bulkier than a standard flight suit. One of the evaluations was to ensure the pilots could easily reach all of the aircraft controls in the thicker cold-weather gear.

A significant amount of the test schedule was dedicated to preparing the chamber for extreme conditions. McKinley’s lab professionals create, break-down, and recreate again for each new test environment. Technicians worked continuously to go from a superheated 100-degree desert condition to a below-freezing icebox in only three days.

«McKinley Climatic Laboratory maintains quickness and technical proficiency by retaining our own staff of highly experienced welders, machinists, electricians, instrumentation experts, test assembly personnel and refrigeration operators», said William Higdon, the lab’s technical advisor. «Our main mission is to support the warfighter and to ensure any environment they encounter in the field; their equipment has already been proven in those extremes».

The Jolly Green II created some unique challenges for McKinley Lab personnel. The lab technicians created a system specifically for the HH-60W to remove the aircraft’s exhaust. Thorough exhaust removal is a critical part of maintaining the controlled temperature conditions needed for chamber testing, according to lab technicians working on the test.

The design of the ventilation system meant the aircraft’s blades were removed for the duration of the testing. The lab’s in-house fabrication shop also specially designed brackets for the aircraft’s weapons among other items.

«Successful completion of this test is absolutely shared with the Sikorsky and McKinley teams», said Ben Walker, 413th Flight Test Squadron lead test engineer for the effort and Air Force PALACE Acquire journeyman. «Everyone worked together extremely well and we completed on time and on budget. I am very thankful for this opportunity to perform exciting engineering work, while also supporting the warfighter».

After testing in the climatic lab, the HH-60W will return to Sikorsky’s test facility in West Palm Beach for further evaluation. The HH-60W developmental test program is a joint effort between Sikorsky, the 413th FLTS, the 88th TES and Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center. Test aircraft are primarily split between Duke Field here and Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach facility.

«Testing on the combat rescue helicopter continued amidst the chaos of COVID-19», said Lieutenant Colonel Wayne Dirkes, 413th FLTS operations officer. «While the situation could change at any moment, we have not lost any test schedule thus far. That is a testament to the entire team’s attitude and willingness to work through challenges».

Dutch Chinook

Boeing recently delivered the first CH-47F Chinook with an upgraded cockpit to the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF), continuing a track record of on-time deliveries to customers. The RNLAF will operate a fleet of 20 CH-47F Chinooks, the newest configuration in use by countries around the world.

The first new CH-47F Chinook was delivered to the Royal Netherlands Air Force from Boeing’s Philadelphia production facility (Fred Troilo, Boeing photo)

«The RNLAF made it clear to us that they need the advanced, proven capability of the CH-47F now», said Andy Builta, vice president of Cargo & Utility Helicopters and H-47 program manager. «I want to thank our phenomenal team for working hard during a difficult situation to safely deliver these aircraft. This is a reminder to all of us of how important Chinooks are to our customers».

The 20 CH-47F Chinooks will be a fleet equipped with the same state-of-the-art technology as the U.S. Army, including digital automatic flight controls, a fully-integrated Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) glass cockpit, and advanced cargo handling capabilities. The common configuration leads to lower overall life cycle costs.

The RNLAF currently flies a mix of F-model Chinooks with the Advanced Cockpit Management System (ACMS) and CH-47D Chinooks.

«It has been a pleasure to work closely together with the U.S. Army and Boeing teams to achieve this milestone», said Colonel Koen van Gogh, Netherlands Defence Materiel Organisation. «The Chinook helicopter is a vital asset for our missions and the in-time delivery certainly supports our operational planning. I salute the Boeing workforce for their continued efforts to make this happen in these troubling times, as well as the U.S. Army officials that helped keep us on track».

Deliveries to the RNLAF are expected to continue into 2021. Chinooks are currently in service or under contract with 20 international defense forces, including the U.S. Army, U.S. Special Operations Forces and eight NATO member nations.

Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading provider of commercial airplanes, defense, space and security systems, and global services. As a top U.S. exporter, the company supports commercial and government customers in more than 150 countries. Boeing employs more than 160,000 people worldwide and leverages the talents of a global supplier base. Building on a legacy of aerospace leadership, Boeing continues to lead in technology and innovation, deliver for its customers and invest in its people and future growth.