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Dutch buying Israeli rocket launch systems, Tomahawk and JASSM-ER missiles from US

Photo: Lockheed Martin

The Dutch Ministry of Defence is strengthening the military’s firepower by purchasing rocket artillery for the army and long-range weapons for the navy and air force.

The Dutch armed forces are addressing gaps in their air defense capabilities and bunker-destroying armaments with the acquisition of long-range weapons, according to recent reports. Current armaments on naval ships and the F-35 lack the necessary power and range to effectively neutralize targets at a distance, prompting the military to pursue long-range options.

The Dutch army will soon have access to the Israeli PULS (Precise and Universal Launch System) rocket artillery, which offers a longer range, larger payloads, and faster target acquisition than current fire support means. This is the first time the Dutch military has its own rocket artillery in years.

In addition, the Dutch Navy has chosen to equip its frigates and submarines with the American Tomahawk long-range weapon. The Tomahawk can be launched from both an air defense and command frigate as well as a submarine and has a range of more than 1,000 kilometers. It is also capable of being re-directed to a different target or path after launch.

To complement the Dutch Navy’s Tomahawk long-range weapon and PULS rocket artillery system for the army, the F-35s will also be equipped with the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER), which has a range of around 1,000 kilometers.

“The war in Ukraine shows once again that fire support over short, medium and long range is essential. This applies on land, from the air and from the sea. With the new systems, the Ministry of Defense further substantiates NATO’s common combat power and deterrence,” State Secretary Christophe van der Maat wrote in a statement to the House of Representatives.

“This shows that the Netherlands is taking responsibility by making a strong contribution to this. In addition, the Netherlands thus meets the wish to possess its own rocket artillery and long-range weapon, as described in the Defense Policy Document 2022.”

By acquiring advanced armaments for its naval and air forces, including the JASSM-ER for the F-35 and the Tomahawk missiles for the LC frigates and submarines, the Netherlands is strengthening NATO’s collective defense capabilities. These weapons offer stealth, precision, and formidable firepower to effectively neutralize heavily fortified targets and enhance the Netherlands’ readiness to support NATO missions.