The Royal Netherlands Air Force 302nd Squadron took delivery of two new AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters at Robert Gray Army Air Field. During a ceremony in the unit’s hangar, the two new AH-64E Apache Guardian’s logbooks were handed over to the unit commander. The new Apaches are the first two that will be operated by the unit at Fort Hood. The 302nd Squadron will be responsible for the training of current and future pilots, as well as maintenance technicians in the coming years. The Royal Netherlands Air Force squadron commander added that the upgraded aircraft are better able to integrate with newer systems.
“This is just the start of a new era. Having these aircraft over here makes us the first one to train aircrew maintenance personnel to get to the point where they can operate in multi-domain operations. “It’s not like buying a new system and just replacing the old ones. We’re handing in the old Deltas, and they are being remanufactured to these Echoes, while the Air Force is still counting on our training mission,” explained Dutch Lt. Col. Wilko de Waard, commander of the 302nd Squadron of the Royal Netherlands Air Force.
The Dutch have operated the D-model Apaches since 1998. Delivery of remanufactured E-model Apaches represents the next step in this long-term partnership. Since 1984, more than 2,600 Apache helicopters have been delivered to the U.S. Army and 17 international customers. Apache aircraft continue to play an essential role in European defense and are currently operated by several European allied nations. As part of a Foreign Military Sale through the U.S. Department of Defense, Boeing received a contract in 2019 to remanufacture 28 RNLAF AH-64 D-model Apaches to the advanced AH-64E v6.
The AH-64E v6 is the most modern configuration of the Apache attack helicopter. Delivery for the final E-model Apache to the country is targeted for 2025. The AH-64E V6 (Version 6) is the most modern configuration of the Apache attack helicopter and is ready for the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) battlefield. Designed for interoperability within the ecosystem of Joint All Domain Operations (JADO), the AH-64E v6 is a lethal, survivable and agile system providing the range, maneuverability and performance needed by ground forces and contributes to current and future joint mission success.