Air International 1996-07
G.Kromhout - Dutch Air Force Revised
Northern European airforces equipped with boom receptacle in-flight refuelling aircraft are interested in the KDC-10. Currently only the F-16 is certified to be refuelled by this tanker. Seen here is T-264, one of the two KLu KDC-10s which have recently entered service with 334 Sqn at Eindhoven, in company with 313 Sqn F-16A J-239 and F-16Bs J-261 (on the boom) and J-264.
F-16A J-195 of 311 Sqn carrying target towing equipment underwing. As part of KLu defence cutbacks, 36 F-16s are being offered for sale but the prospects of selling them are poor as there is an abundance of second-hand fighters on the market.
Whilst many air forces today like to celebrate squadron anniversaries with special colour schemes on their aircraft, the Dutch went a stage further in 1995, using F-16B J-653 of the Testgroep (Test Group) as an advertising hoarding to promote the open day at Volkel air base that year.
Detail of the fairing under the lower rear fuselage in the KDC-10 housing the five video cameras which give the RARO a 3-D image when controlling refuelling operations.
In addition to the KDC-10s, two C-130H-30s have also joined 334 Sqn at Eindhoven to boost the KLu transport fleet. Seen here is G-275/Joop Mulder - note the ALR-69 RUR and ALQ-131 ECM in the underwing pods, a prerequisite for most military transports today as they undertake worldwide UN humanitarian aid operations, often in hazardous war zones.
The first of seven ex-Canadian Chinooks, upgraded to CH-47D standard, arrived at Soesterberg on December 28, 1995, to join 298 Sqn. Seen here on delivery is the fifth example, D-665, which was actually the first to arrive in Holland. A further six new-build examples will be delivered in 1997.
F-27-200MPA of 336 Sqn at Hato, Curacau, Netherlands Antilles, is one of two of these patrol aircraft were acquired at the beginning of the 1980s as replacements for the SP-2H Neptunes. With the return of the KLu F-16s from the USA, these two aircraft are the only ones now permanently based overseas.
Former Martinair DC-10-30CF PH-MBP, the second for the KLu, stripped to bare metal just after handover from the airline with the rudder still showing part of the Martinair logo whilst new serial T-235 is painted in small characters behind the cockpit. The aircraft is seen at Schiphol-East before tanker conversion, awaiting hangar space to become free once the first conversion has been completed.
Built specifically for the KLu, the Fokker 60U is a stretched version of the Fokker 50 with a large cargo door on the starboard side immediately aft of the cockpit, thus enabling an F-16’s engine to be loaded without dismantling. U-01 is the first of four on order and now beginning to enter service. Note that, as with the Hercules, the aircraft is equipped with self-protection equipment podded underwing, comprising wingtip ALR-69 RWR and Per Udsen MCP-7 chaff/flare dispensers outboard of the engine nacelles. Only two of the four aircraft are to be fitted with this equipment initially but the other two will have provision for its installation at a later date.
New to the KLu inventory is the Gulfstream IV. V-11 was delivered to 334 Sqn at Eindhoven on March 13, 1996, after attention by Marshall Aerospace at Cambridge. The aircraft was acquired second-hand, having previously been on the Bermudan civil register.
Latest helicopter to join the KLu is the AS 532 U2 Cougar Mk II. S-400, one of the first examples to be delivered to 300 Squadron at Soesterberg, is seen here undergoing post-flight maintenance on May 31, 1996, the day the KLu’s Tactische Helikopter Groep (THG) officially took on charge both the AS 532 U2 and CH-47D in a formal ceremony at Soesterberg. The camouflage scheme seen here will also be applied to the Chinooks at a later date.
Still used by the KLu’s 299 Sqn at Gilze Rijen, the MBB BO 105CB’s black and dark green camouflage scheme blends well into European surroundings - the special display colour scheme of high-visibility red, white and blue striping seen here on B-43 over a lake near Deelen rather negates the effect.
Seen over the city of Leeuwarden, close to its base, is Agusta Bell 412SP R-02, the second of three examples with the SAR Flight there which have replaced the old Alouette IIIs. Note the Flight’s winged life buoy emblem on the tail.