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Former Canadian Chinook helicopters continue as workhorses of Dutch air force

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Former Canadian Chinook helicopters continue as workhorses of Dutch air force

Post by Guest on Mon 11 Sep 2017, 08:45

Former Canadian Chinook helicopters continue as workhorses of Dutch air force

DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN
Published on: September 10, 2017


I recently interviewed Lt.-Gen. Dennis Luyt, the head of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, about his country’s F-35 program and the state of the nation’s air force.


One area that was of interest was the Dutch air force’s Chinook helicopters, in particular those purchased from Canada.

Canada’s air force owned Chinook helicopters up until the early 1990s when the Conservative government sold them off to the Dutch because they were too expensive to operate. (In the past Conservative politicians such as Peter MacKay, Chris Alexander and Cheryl Gallant have claimed that the Chinooks were sold by the Liberal government….however, such claims are false. The Harper government did purchase the current fleet of Chinooks for the RCAF, which by many accounts, are an essential element of Canadian military air transport).

So what of the older, former Canadian Chinooks?

They are the backbone of the Dutch rotary force.

“We modernized them,” Luyt explained. “They’re really our workhorses. They’ve proven themselves in Afghanistan and Mali.”

The Dutch are in the process of buying a new fleet of Chinooks to replace their current fleet. Those 14 helicopters will be delivered to the Royal Netherlands Air Force by the end of 2020.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/former-canadian-chinook-helicopters-continue-as-workhorses-of-dutch-air-force

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