December 8, 2023


With Fashion

More F-35 Fighters on Dutch Defense Shopping List

2 min read


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought the defense of Europe sharply into target, and quite a few NATO nations are considerably increasing their defense expenditure as a end result. The Netherlands is one particular of them and has fully commited an further €5 billion for each calendar year to the army funds, symbolizing an maximize of all around 40 p.c. The long run shelling out designs are laid out in a white paper—“A Much better Netherlands, A Safer Europe: Investing in a Strong NATO and EU”—that was launched by defense minister Kajsa Ollongren on June 1.

For the Koninklijke Luchtmacht (KLu, royal air power) the principal aspect is the acquire of six far more Lockheed Martin F-35As, increasing the total quantity to 52. This will permit the creation of a 3rd whole squadron to join the current 313 Squadron at Volkel and 322 Squadron at Leeuwarden. The white paper also notes that “the complete F-35 fleet will be expanded with fashionable extended-assortment and precision weapons” and that the long term use of unmanned fighters is becoming examined. Long-vary engagement and suppression of enemy air defenses are regarded as significant features of future KLu operations.

The range of Common Atomics MQ-9A Reapers will also be doubled to 8 to increase maritime and overland intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance (ISR) capability. The Reapers will also be armed in the long term, with that application to enter the parliamentary approval course of action future calendar year.

For the Eindhoven-based transport fleet, it is prepared to swap the four existing C-130H/H-30s of 336 Squadron with C-130Js and to incorporate just one additional aircraft. The single Gulfstream IV employed by 334 Squadron for VIP transport is also to be changed this 12 months. A series of block updates is prepared for the AH-64 and CH-47 helicopter fleets throughout the remainder of the ten years.

The Defence Helicopter Command’s single squadron of Airbus AS532 Cougars is to be upgraded and modified for the distinctive forces guidance mission, in line with the re-roling of a battalion of the army’s airmobile brigade into a special functions unit. The Cougars are in the long run to be replaced by a new medium utility helicopter, with that process owing to get underway future 12 months. The NH90 helicopter is also thanks for replacement all around the close of the ten years, with a need slated for difficulty in 2027.


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