More F-35 Fighters on Dutch Defense Shopping List

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought the defense of Europe sharply into concentrate, and lots of NATO nations are substantially rising their protection expenditure as a consequence. The Netherlands is one particular of them and has dedicated an added €5 billion per year to the army price range, symbolizing an boost of about 40 per cent. The upcoming paying out programs are laid out in a white paper—“A More robust Netherlands, A Safer Europe: Investing in a Strong NATO and EU”—that was introduced by protection minister Kajsa Ollongren on June 1.

For the Koninklijke Luchtmacht (KLu, royal air drive) the main aspect is the obtain of 6 more Lockheed Martin F-35As, elevating the whole selection to 52. This will permit the creation of a 3rd entire squadron to join the latest 313 Squadron at Volkel and 322 Squadron at Leeuwarden. The white paper also notes that “the total F-35 fleet will be expanded with modern-day very long-selection and precision weapons” and that the potential use of unmanned fighters is getting examined. Long-selection engagement and suppression of enemy air defenses are regarded as significant factors of upcoming KLu operations.

The amount of Standard Atomics MQ-9A Reapers will also be doubled to eight to enhance maritime and overland intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance (ISR) ability. The Reapers will also be armed in the future, with that application to enter the parliamentary approval method subsequent year.

For the Eindhoven-based transportation fleet, it is planned to switch the four existing C-130H/H-30s of 336 Squadron with C-130Js and to insert just one additional aircraft. The solitary Gulfstream IV utilized by 334 Squadron for VIP transportation is also to be replaced this calendar year. A sequence of block upgrades is prepared for the AH-64 and CH-47 helicopter fleets throughout the remainder of the decade.

The Defence Helicopter Command’s solitary squadron of Airbus AS532 Cougars is to be upgraded and modified for the specific forces assistance mission, in line with the re-roling of a battalion of the army’s airmobile brigade into a particular functions device. The Cougars are in the end to be changed by a new medium utility helicopter, with that procedure due to get underway upcoming yr. The NH90 helicopter is also owing for substitute around the finish of the 10 years, with a necessity slated for situation in 2027.

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