Boeing has delivered its first upgraded AH-64E Apache attack helicopter to the Royal Netherlands Air Force.
The handover is part of a $1.19 billion foreign military sale contract approved by the US State Department in 2018.
Under the agreement, 28 D-model Apache rotorcraft of the Netherlands Air Force will be modernized to the advanced v6 or E configuration.
The program is expected to be completed by 2025.
“It is an honor to receive the first remanufactured Apache Echo,” Netherlands Defence Materiel Organisation Director Vice Admr. Aerie Jan de Waard said.
“This updated attack helicopter is a great improvement and gives the Royal Netherlands Air Force more combat power and situational awareness. This first delivery is an important step in modernizing our entire Apache fleet.”
‘Most Advanced and Proven Attack Helicopter’
AH-64D Block II Apache attack helicopters have been in service with the Royal Netherlands Air Force since 1998.
Alongside the Dutch military, the D-models are also used by 17 international forces, including the US Army and European allies.
The AH-64E v6 is the latest configuration of Apache choppers. With more than 1,260 Apaches deployed worldwide, more than 665 units are E-models.
“The Apache is the most advanced and proven attack helicopter, and demand for it continues to increase worldwide,” Boeing Attack Helicopter Programs Vice President and Mesa Site Executive Kathleen Jolivette said.
“By upgrading from the D-model to the E-model Apache, the Royal Netherlands Air Force will gain a significant increase in attack power, versatility and situational awareness for decades to come.”