Belgium and the Netherlands formalize the order for 12 Naval Group / ECA consortium minesweeks

After validation by their respective parliaments, Belgium and the Netherlands have officially notified the consortium formed by the French Naval Group and the Belgian ECA of the order for 6 new generation mine hunters for the Royal Belgian Navy, and as many for the Navy Dutch Royal, accompanied by around a hundred underwater drones for the detection and defusing of underwater mines. This is a €2 billion contract, one of the largest export contracts signed by Naval Group in the last 10 years.

With these 12 vessels, the Belgian and Dutch navies will have the most modern and largest mine warfare force in Europe, coupled with know-how recognized throughout the world. In addition, the mine hunters selected impose by their size, with a tonnage of 2500 tonnes, five times larger than the tripartite mine hunters who currently equip the two navies, as well as the French Navy.

After the CAMO[efn_note]Motorized Capacity[/efn_note] contract, signed in November 2018, and relating to the purchase of 382 VBMR Griffon and 60 ERBC Jaguar and increased cooperation between the French and Belgian armies for 1,6 billion €, this is the second major contract awarded by Belgium to France in terms of Defense in 6 months, for an amount exceeding the €3,2 billion of the contract aimed at acquiring 32 F35s from Lockheed to replace the F16s of the Belgian air force.

Enough to largely weigh the carried away judgments following this Belgian decision, especially since Belgium and the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, could once again turn to France for the ISTAR program, aimed at replacing the light armored vehicles of the 3 countries, and about which Nexter could propose the VBMR Léger Serval, ordered in nearly 2000 examples by the French armies to replace part of the VAB and VBL from 2022. In fact, quadripartite cooperation could make a lot of sense, especially as it would make the program eligible for European Defense funds.

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