Tasks of the Royal Netherlands Air Force

The Royal Netherlands Air Force is a modern, high-tech armed forces Service that is active on a global basis. The Air Force lends support in combating international unrest and provides disaster relief. At home in the Netherlands, the Air Force ensures security from the air. For these purposes, it has highly-qualified personnel, aircraft, helicopters and other weapon systems at its disposal.

Operations abroad

The Royal Netherlands Air Force plays an important role in international conflict resolution. Its aircraft and helicopters provide air transport capability and overall security from the air. In this way, the Air Force contributes to the enforcement of international law. Operations abroad are carried out in concert with the other armed forces Services as well as NATO and UN Allies.

A C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft

A C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft

Disaster relief

The Royal Netherlands Air Force also comes to the aid of victims of natural or man-made disasters and acts of war. By carrying out humanitarian operations, it makes an important contribution to stability around the globe, which is a prerequisite for a peaceful world. This is beneficial to Dutch trade interests and the security of the Netherlands.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force in the Netherlands

At home in the Netherlands, the Royal Netherlands Air Force contributes 24/7 to security:

  • Fighter aircraft are on stand-by for the protection of Dutch airspace;
  • Patrol aircraft carry out coastguard tasks;
  • Transport helicopters extinguish large fires and transport persons and materials in the event of serious incidents;
  • Combat helicopters support criminal investigation operations conducted by the police or the Public Prosecution Service;
  • Military air traffic control plays a part in the safe, orderly and smooth handling of air traffic.

Moving into space

Threats no longer come only from the ground or the air, but also through or from space. As a consequence, space is gaining importance as an area from which Dutch interests can be defended. Together with civilian partners, the Netherlands Ministry of Defence is developing its own satellite, which will be launched in the spring of 2019. The Royal Netherlands Air Force is responsible for the process and the launch.