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Netherlands to acquire almost 400 Hellfire missiles in US foreign military sale

An MQ-9 Reaper, piloted by the 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron, fires an air-to-Ground Missile-114 Hellfire missile over the Nevada Test and Training Range, Nevada, 30 August 2023. The 556th TES performs all software and physical testing to improve the combat capabilities of the MQ-9 Reaper. Photo: US Air Force/Airman 1st Class Victoria Nuzzi)

The Netherlands will acquire more than 380 Hellfire missiles under a possible US$150 million foreign military sale approved by the US State Department.

The Netherlands will acquire more than 380 Hellfire missiles under a possible US$150 million foreign military sale approved by the US State Department.

The US Congress was notified of the proposed sale by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 2 February, this year.

Under the deal, the government of the Netherlands has requested to buy up to 386 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, AGM-114R2, publications and other Hellfire publications, US Army Aviation and Missile Command Security Assistance Management Directorate technical assistance, Tactical Aviation and Ground Munitions Project Office technical assistance and integration support.


“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in Europe,” according to a statement published by the DSCA.

“The proposed sale will improve the Netherlands’ capability to strengthen its homeland defence and deter regional threats.

“This will contribute to its military goals of updating capability while further enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allies.

“The Netherlands will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

“The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.”

The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Corporation and the proposed sale will require US government or contractor representatives to travel to the Netherlands for program management reviews to support the program.

Late last year in October 2023, the Netherlands government announced that three General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles would be stationed in Romania to fortify the defence of NATO’s eastern flank.

The unarmed drone aircraft will be used to gather intelligence along the eastern border of the North Atlanta Treaty Organization’s territory, according to information submitted to the Dutch House of Representatives by the Netherlands’ Minister of Defence, Kajsa Ollongren, on 11 October.

Significantly, this 6-to-12-month positioning marks the first time that the Netherlands has deployed the remotely-piloted unmanned reconnaissance aircraft outside its own territory.

As part of the deployment, more than 135 Dutch Defence employees will be involved in the operation, with the majority stationed at Leeuwarden Air Base in the Netherlands to operate the aircraft and process intelligence gathered, while 40 service members will man the MQ-9 aircraft at Romanian Air Force 71st Air Base, near Campia Turzii in Romania.

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