Netherlands boosts defence with US and Israeli-made missiles
The Netherlands is acquiring new US and Israeli-made long-range weapons systems its armed forces, junior defence minister Christophe van der Maat has confirmed.
The equipment will strengthen the country’s firepower via rocket artillery for the army and long-range weapons for the navy and air force.
US Tomahawk cruise missiles will be installed on the Navy’s LC frigates and submarines, while F-35 fighter jets will be equipped with JASSM-ER (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range) missiles. Both have a range of around 1,000 kilometres.
‘These systems can target targets with great precision and power over longer distances,’ Van der Maat told parliament in a letter.
‘The move comes amid a more expansive overhaul of the country’s military strategy
due in part to the war in Ukraine and the growing Russian threat,’ Van der Maat wrote.
‘The war in Ukraine shows once again that fire support over short, medium and long range is essential. With the new systems, the Ministry of Defence further substantiates Nato’s common combat power and deterrence.’
The army will be buying the Israeli-made PULS (Precise and Universal Launch System) system this year, meaning it will have its own rocket artillery for the first time in years.
The ministry said: ‘Rocket artillery allows army units to take out enemy targets with precision. This includes air defence and fire support systems, headquarters and logistics hubs.
With long-range weapons, naval ships are able to take out targets in an opponent’s territory. At present, Dutch naval vessels do not have armaments that are powerful enough and reach far enough to disable bunkers, for example.’
Denmark is also buying into the PULS system, while Germany is looking into it. The ministry says it offers ‘prospects for international cooperation in order to increase European autonomy.
In February, the US approved a foreign military sale to the Dutch worth $670 million for 20 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers and related equipment.
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