Air International 2016-02
F.Visser - Dutch over the Sahel /Military/
The Chinook’s primary duty in Mali is air transport, but they are also used for ISR missions.
Dropping sling loads is a routine mission; the crews use the Hot Blaze exercise in Spain to practise flying in brown-out conditions.
Four crews are available for the Apaches for missions from Gao.
Each Apache is armed with two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles mounted under the left wing, along with unguided rockets and a 30mm M230 chain gun with 300 rounds.
An RNLAF AH-64D over the River Niger in Mali. The Dutch have three Apaches and three Chinooks in theatre.
There is much more wear of the engines and the dust in Mali sticks more to the helicopters than in Afghanistan, where the Dutch were previously deployed.
The Apaches carry 19 unguided rockets in a pod under the right wing.