Netherlands: first upgraded AH-64 Apache helicopters ready for operations

By Defence Industry Europe

The Dutch Ministry of Defence has declared the first four upgraded AH-64E Apache attack helicopters ready for deployment. These helicopters are now stationed at Gilze-Rijen Air Base and are prepared for missions both domestically and internationally. Dutch Serceratry of State for Defence Christophe van der Maat made the announcement during a ceremonial presentation, stating that these helicopters are updated to meet contemporary standards and will remain operational until 2050.


State Secretary van der Maat emphasized the significance of the AH-64E Apache, noting that this marks a new era for the air force. “The features of this combat helicopter are ideally suited for the evolving nature of our daily operations,” he stated. The AH-64E Apache will primarily support ground troops and transport helicopters, conduct reconnaissance flights, and perform area surveillance.



The unveiled helicopters are the first of twenty revamped models designated for the 301 squadron at Gilze-Rijen Air Base. Additionally, six units are already in use for training purposes at Cavazos in Texas, with two more expected to join in 2025.

The AH-64E variant, known as the Apache Echo, represents an advanced version of the earlier Apache Delta (AH-64D). The fleet has been part of the Dutch arsenal since 1997 and underwent significant upgrades in the United States after two decades of intensive use. Enhancements include new radar and sensor systems, updated radio and navigation systems, modern composite rotor blades, and increased engine power.



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