A look at the Defence news 13 – 19 June

What requirements must the possible new submarines meet? This information was made public by Minister of Defence Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert on 17 June. A summary of the Defence news in the week of 13 - 19 June.

HNLMS Zeeleeuw, a Walrus Class submarine, undergoing major maintenance (November 2015).

HNLMS Zeeleeuw, a Walrus Class submarine, undergoing major maintenance (November 2015).

Hennis-Plasschaert: influence and firepower essential to submarines

The Netherlands hopes to involve Australia, Germany, Norway and Sweden in the submarine replacement project. New developments in France and the US are being monitored closely.

The main requirements are as follows:

  • deterrence capability;
  • major precision maritime firepower to, among other things, protect surface ships, allowing:
  • possibilities for strategic influencing;
  • the capability of influencing adversaries’ behaviour through relatively limited deployment.

In addition, the new submarines, if acquired, must be capable of gathering, analysing and sharing intelligence worldwide, as well as acting as a base for special operations.

Baby born on HNLMS Van Amstel after rescue

On 16 June, a baby girl was born on board the multi-purpose frigate HNLMS Van Amstel, which was on patrol in the Mediterranean Sea as part of Joint Operation Triton, coordinated by Frontex. The baby’s mother gave birth on the ship after being rescued along with 243 other migrants from a sinking boat. Two days prior to that particular rescue, the Royal Netherlands Navy frigate had already saved almost 200 migrants from a sinking ship in the Mediterranean.

Commemoration medal for Mali personnel

“A peace agreement was recently signed in Mali. The various belligerent parties have laid down their weapons in order to work on a more stable and peaceful situation, which is a step in the right direction. This was partly due to the UN mission and our efforts.” These were the words of Vice Admiral Rob Bauer, Vice Chief of Defence, as he complimented the more than 400 Dutch military personnel who received commemoration medals on 16 June.

New combat dress and helmets for Defence

The Netherlands Defence organisation will purchase 45,400 new combat dress packages and approximately 22,500 new helmets for its military personnel. The kit currently in use is obsolete, both in technical and operational terms. Minister of Defence Hennis-Plasschaert announced the decision to the House of Representatives by letter on 14 June. The Ministry of Defence will assess possible collaboration with Dutch industry and international organisations during the procurement process.

F-35s take leave of the Netherlands

On 14 June, the 2 F-35 fighters that were stationed in the Netherlands for 3 weeks left for the United States. After their return to the US, the test and evaluation phase on the aircraft will recommence. The first operational F-35s will be stationed in the Netherlands in 2019.