The US state department has approved the potential sale of Patriot MIM-104E guidance enhanced missile-tactical (GEM-T) ballistic missiles to the Netherlands for an estimated $1.219 billion.
The Dutch defense ministry has requested to buy 96 GEM-T ballistic missiles for the Patriot air defense system, which has been in Dutch military service since 1987.
Over the years, the country upgraded its system, first improving radar performance and later buying Patriot Advanced Capability Phase-III (PAC-3) missiles with a number of launchers and a modification of the fire control centers.
The country currently uses PAC-2 missiles, which weigh 900 kilograms and a 91 kilogram warhead that explodes near the target, destroying it with a cloud of shards, and the PAC-3 missile, a 312-kilogram hit to kill projectile, which is particularly effective against high-speed ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.
The GEM-T missile variant will further enhance the Dutch Army’s ability to neutralize tactical ballistic missiles.
“The proposed sale will improve the Netherlands’ capability to meet current and future threats. The proposed sale will increase the defensive capabilities of the Netherlands’ military and supports its goal of improving national and territorial defense as well as interoperability with US and NATO forces,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.
Should a definitive agreement be reached, the prime contractor will be Raytheon.
The Netherlands is one of several Patriot system customers, with current and future operators including the United States, Sweden, Israel, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Spain, Taiwan, Japan, Romania, Poland, the United Arab Emirates, Korea, Bahrain and Germany.