A look at the Defence news 17 December – 1 January

Defence spent roughly € 2.4 billion more in 2023 than in the previous year. Spending rose from € 12.9 billion in 2022 to € 15.3 billion by the last week of 2023.

Enlarge image Artist impression of new fregates.
Artist impression of new fregates.

Defence makes first 18 F-16 fighter aircraft available to Ukraine

The Netherlands is making at least 18 F-16 fighter aircraft available to Ukraine. The Netherlands committed itself to doing so during a visit by Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy earlier this year. Now that the cabinet has decided to ready the F-16s, personnel and budget can be allocated to prepare the aircraft for delivery.

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Netherlands contributes officers to Red Sea naval operation

At the request of the United States, the Netherlands is sending 2 staff officers to participate in Operation Prosperity Guardian, a maritime security operation in the Red Sea.

Defence acquires tools and materiel to defend the North Sea

Defence is purchasing cameras and radar systems for offshore oil rigs and wind turbines. In addition, the armed forces are also investing in satellite data. These observation tools will help detect threats to vital seabed infrastructure at an earlier stage. Defence is also investing in 2 new vessels to patrol the North Sea.

Defence to overhaul NH90 maritime combat helicopters

Defence plans to significantly upgrade all 19 NH90 maritime combat helicopters. This so-called Mid-Life Update (MLU) is necessary to maintain the weapon system's operational capability and future operational relevance. They will also be equipped with the new Link-22 data link system.