The first 3 Apache attack helicopters of the Ministry of Defense left this morning by boat from Antwerp to the United States. The AH-64Ds there undergo a so-called remanufacture, a process that takes about 2 years. All 28 Defense Apaches will undergo a complete rebuild and overhaul in the coming years.
The Apaches have been disassembled before departure.
A considerable logistical job preceded the shipment. Because whoever thinks it is a matter of loading and shipping is wrong. In recent weeks, the helicopters have been so disassembled that they hardly resemble an Apache. On Tuesday, trucks drove the dismantled airframes from the Woensdrecht logistic center onto the ship.
The rest of the process has been handed over by Defense, also because of the corona crisis, to the US Army, which takes over many tasks. The fleet is scheduled to arrive at the port of Baltimore on the US East coast on December 4. From there, they will be transported to Huntsville, Alabama, and the last stop is manufacturer Boeing in Mesa, Arizona.
Can be used until 2050
The Apaches come with the most advanced configuration. Consider, for example, a modernized Fire Control Radar and better sensors and data links. The power also increases. After the upgrade, the helicopters can be deployed until 2050, with the exception of a single upgrade.
The next transport is already on the agenda for February 2021. The helicopters destined for Defense Helicopter Command will return to the Netherlands from mid-2023 to early 2025.