A look at the Defence news 15 – 21 April

HNLMS Karel Doorman heading to the Red Sea

HNLMS Karel Doorman has left port in order to join EU operation Aspides in the Red Sea next month. The logistics support and supply ship and its crew of more than 250 will be providing tanker and medical capabilities there.

 HNLMS Karel Doorman will supply fuel to other ships in the Red Sea until the end of August at the latest, so they will not have to leave the mission area. A surgical team and a Cougar transport helicopter from Defence Helicopter Command are on board for medical care.

First renewed Apache helicopters combat ready

The modernised Apache Echo attack helicopters are combat ready again. At Gilze-Rijen Air Base, the first four aircraft are ready for action in the Netherlands and abroad. They are now equipped for today's tasks and will be operational until 2050. The Apaches are the first of 20 renewed aircraft to return to 301 Squadron at Gilze-Rijen Air Base. Six more of the aircraft are currently being used by the Defence organisation for training purposes in the Texas Cavazos (formerly Fort Hood) in the United States. In 2025, two more aircraft will be added.

Ollongren: 200 million Euros for immediate assistance to Ukraine

The Netherlands will contribute over €200 million to new initiatives for rapid delivery of additional air defence and artillery ammunition for Ukraine. Netherlands Minister of Defence, Kajsa Ollongren announced this during an additional online meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council last week. The Netherlands will contribute €150 million to the German ‘Immediate Action for Air Defence’ initiative, which is intended for the quick provision of long-range air defence, along with partners. In addition, the Defence organisation will procure €60 million worth of short-range air defence equipment that will be used to counter drone attacks, among other things.

Minister Ollongren delivers F-16s to training centre in Romania

The Royal Netherlands Air Force once again supplied F-16s to Romania. The delivery took place at the European F-16 training centre (EFTC), where Romanian pilots are undergoing training. In the near future, Ukrainian pilots and pilots from other European countries will also receive training. This time, the training location received three aircraft, bringing the total number of fighter aircraft stationed by the Netherlands to 11. Minister Ollongren personally ‘delivered’ the three aircraft. She flew in on board one of the F-16s from Charleroi, Belgium, where they had been made combat ready.

The Netherlands and the Czech Republic sign agreement for further cooperation

In the Czech Republic, Netherlands Minister of Defence, Kajsa Ollongren, and her counterpart, Jana Černochová signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a number of agreements between the countries, for example on a new joint purchase of ammunition. The Czech Republic plans to supply 800,000 artillery shells to the Ukrainian army from arms suppliers from across the world. The Netherlands is one of the 15 countries supporting the Czech initiative and will donate €250 million.

Trio of Chinooks for NATO mission in Iraq complete

The last two Chinook transport helicopters for the NATO mission in Iraq (NMI) have arrived in the country. A detachment of 120 military personnel will use the helicopters to carry out its duties there as from next month. These duties include supplying units and transporting advisers, units and equipment. An Antonov AN-124 transported the dismantled aircraft, completing the trio of Chinooks at Al Asad Airbase.