From fixed wing and helicopters to only helicopters
During the 1970ties the Dutch Navy had four operational flying squadrons. Two helicopter squadrons and two squadrons wih fixed wing aircraft. The fixed wing aircraft, Altantics and Neptunes, were based at Vliegkamp Valkenburg along the Dutch coast near the city of Leiden. The Augusta Bell and Wasp choppers were stationed at Vliegkamp De Kooy, near the town of Den Helder, where also the Dutch Royal Navy vessels are harboured. The Wasp helicopters often were deployed to a fregat of the Navy.
In 1976 the Westland Lynx UH-14A took over the duties of the Augusta Bell and Wasp. Thirteen Orions arrived from 1982 to replace the nineteen Neptunes. The Orion took over the role of the Altantic in 1984 too. After some incidents the Altantics were temporary grounded in 1981. The Dutch Navy operated nine machines, from which three were lost. The Altantics were sold to France in 1984. In 2004, the Dutch government decided to close Vliegkamp Valkenburg, and the Orions were sold to Portugal and Germany. The 24 Lynx helicopters are now being recplaced by the NH-90, from which 13 are ordered.
Dutch Navy squadrons during the 1970’s
VSQ 7 flying with the Augusta Bell AB204B
VSQ 320 flying with the SP-2H Neptune
VSQ 321flying with the SP-13 Atlantic
VSQ 860 flying with the AH-12A Wasp