Netherlands looks to US and Israel for long-range strike capabilities

Since the start of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Netherlands has been one of the European countries that has changed its defense posture the most. As early as May 2022, Amsterdam announced a €5 billion increase in its defense investmentse, i.e. a growth of 40%, to reach a defense effort of more than 2024% of the country's GDP by 2, where it was only 1,41% in 2021, and thatit was planned in 2020 to drop the NATO defense objective. Two months later, in July, the Dutch authorities published a very ambitious new White Paper, providing, in addition to an increase in the defense effort, the modernization of all armored vehicles in the land forces, a major effort to acquire a reinforced land and naval anti-aircraft defense, the implementation of a third fighter squadron equipped with F-35A, as well as the acquisition of long-range strike capabilities for the 3 armies. It is to meet this last ambition that the Dutch authorities announced an ambitious acquisition plan a few days ago.

Thus, after Germany, Finland and Poland, the Dutch air force announced that they too would suspect the JASSM-ER missile to arm their F-35A. With a range of 1000 km, this one-ton airborne cruise missile, 4,23 meters long, operates at subsonic speed at very low altitude. It also has a low radar equivalent surface and reduced infrared radiation making it difficult to detect, and therefore to counter. The missile also carries a 42 kg WDU-450/B warhead designed to penetrate and destroy highly hardened targets. Finally, it has an intelligent infrared seeker and a data link, so as to reinforce its terminal precision and the evaluation of its effectiveness, even in the event of electromagnetic jamming. It is also relatively economical, with a unit price slightly above $XNUMX million in public data.

JASSM in flight GAO.jpg Analysis Defense | Fighter jets | Army budgets and defense effort
The JASSM-ER has a final infrared seeker to increase its accuracy

Amsterdam has also announced its intention to equip the four class frigates By Zeven Provinciën, but also the 4 Royal Netherlands Navy attack submarinese cruise missile RGM/UGM-109E Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM-E Block IV), ultimate version and only variant still in production of the Tomahawk. With a range of more than 1.600 km, the Tomahawk carries, at subsonic speed and low altitude as it should be, a military load of 1000 pounds, or 450 Kg. It takes place on board surface ships in the silos of the system VLS Mk41 which equip the 4 Dutch frigates, or can be launched via a medium-changing capsule by the standard 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes which arm most of the submarines of the NATO. In addition to the US Navy, the TLAM is also currently in service with the British naval forces, and will soon equip new Australian, Canadian and Japanese destroyers and submarines.

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