The United Kingdom and the Netherlands have agreed to collaboratively develop a future littoral strike platform for the benefit of commando forces with both countries.
To continue reading the rest of this article, please log in.
Create free account to get unlimited news articles and more!
UK Minister for Defence Procurement James Cartlidge and Dutch Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren signed the collaborative program statement of intent in Den Helder on the 50th anniversary of the Joint Amphibious Force on 30 June.
Future UK multi-role support ships will be equipped with a sea-to-land strike capability, designed to operate in amphibious task groups known as Littoral Response Groups. The program is expected to allow UK Marines to deploy to crises globally, fully equipped with their vehicles, boats, aircraft, and weaponry.
Minister Cartlidge said the statement of intent will see both nations working together to understand respective joint requirements and expected timelines for the UK MRSS and Dutch landing platform.
“To remain a truly global military, we must procure the right equipment at the right time for our Armed Forces,” he said.
“The future multi-role support ships will ensure the Royal Marines can continue to deploy overseas fully equipped at short notice.
“We are very proud to be working closely with our Dutch allies on assessing future procurement options, as well as building on the strong foundation of our 50-year partnership to enhance our collective readiness.”
The Royal Navy’s amphibious flagship, HMS Albion, played host to events around the announcement, which included the signing of a new memorandum of understanding between the two nations.
In a revitalisation of the original MOU from 1973, the UK and Dutch agreed to grow the relationship between the two navies and marine forces, continuing to work together in an interoperable force at the forefront of NATO’s maritime response.
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Ben Key said the UK and the Netherlands forces have worked continually together for more than 50 years with the UN, NATO, and Joint Expeditionary Force.
“This year is a particularly special one to be in Den Helder alongside our Dutch friends, celebrating both Navy Days and the signing 50 years ago of an agreement that has enabled our amphibious forces to train, exercise, and deploy together,” Sir Key said.
“It has resulted in our closest and most significant amphibious relationship. I am delighted that our nations have today signed an agreement to deepen this through further exercises and training but most significantly, to pursue the next generation of littoral strike ships, setting the stage for the next 50 years of our cooperation.”
Both countries recently announced a partnership with the US and Denmark to deliver high-priority air defence equipment to Ukraine to address urgent air defence requirements.