The Netherlands’ defense ministry announced it is starting the process of acquiring a new medium range air defense (MRAD) capability that provides ground-based air defense at a range of up to 50 kilometers.
The defense ministry submitted its plan to the Dutch government on September 9.
The country’s defense ground-based air defense command is expected to start fielding the new system from 2025 as a replacement for the NASAMS-2 (Norwegian advanced surface to air missile system II) and the AIM-120B AMRAAM (advanced medium range air to air missile) currently in service. Both the missiles and the launcher will reach the end of their technical life between 2023 and 2025.
MRAD has an essential role in ground-based air defense and thus the protection of units, objects and areas. It protects against attacks from aircraft, helicopters, large unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and cruise missiles.
As disclosed by the defense ministry, the new capability is expected to be able to intercept smaller and faster targets at a greater distance. In addition, the new system must be more mobile, flexible and faster. What is more, the new system should preferably be able to be operated by fewer people and be protected against cyber threats and electronic warfare.
The project includes not only launchers and missiles, but also training and training resources and integration into the current army ground based air defense system that consists of the Patriot air defense system, NASAMS, the Fennek Stinger weapon platform and the TRML airspace monitoring radar. The defense ministry has set aside between 100 million and 250 million for the project.