In 1955 the US Army wanted a multi-purpose utility helicopter so the Bell 204 was developed. The designers replaced the standard engine with a turbo-shaft engine that reduced maintenance; lowered operating cost and fuel consumption. The AB 204B was produced under license in Italy by Augusta from 1961 to 1974. Augusta replaced the standard 204 engine with a Rolls-Royce Gnome engine. The only real exterior difference is the exhaust on the AB-204B points sideways instead of to the rear.
The Royal Netherlands Navy (Koninklijke Marine) received 8 Augusta-Bell 204B helicopters between June 1962 – July 1963. They were assigned to MLD (Marineluchtvaartdienst, Naval Air Service) 7 squadron and used in SAR/comm roles. In March 1978 the AB204Bs were withdrawn from service and sold. Serial number 225 eventually went to Sweden where it was used for spare parts. In 2001-2002 #225 and #220 were returned to the Netherland Military Aviation Museum where #225 was fully restored using parts from #220.