The United States government has authorized the potential sale of AMRAAM-ER air-to-air missiles for the NASAMS air defense systems of the Netherlands. The notification was reported on June 13th by the Department of State, informing the U.S. Congress of the potential operation through the FMS Program for its final approval. As is the case in these situations, once the legislative process is completed, the deal will need to be formalized with the respective purchase and production contracts of the involved parties.

According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the government of the Netherlands requested from the United States the purchase of up to a total of 174 AMRAAM-ER extended-range air-to-air missiles, along with a package of AMRAAM-C8 guidance sections, containers, manuals, and technical assistance. The operation, primarily supplied by RTX Corporation (through Raytheon), has a value of USD 678 million.

In its official statement on June 13th, the Department of State expressed that: “The proposed sale will enhance the Netherlands’ ability to meet current and future threats by providing advanced air defense missiles as part of an enhanced Medium Range Air Defense (MRAD) system, thereby increasing its air defense capability. This enhanced capability will protect the Netherlands and local allied forces and significantly improve the Netherlands’ contribution to NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense. The Netherlands will have no difficulty absorbing these items and services into its armed forces.”

While not confirmed in yesterday’s announcement, it is presumable that this potential acquisition seeks to increase and replenish the current stocks of this type of missile by the Royal Netherlands Air Force. It is worth noting that, along with Patriot air defense systems, NASAMS constitutes one of the main and most versatile platforms in service currently. This has been evident with the official intention to renew the short-range air defense capabilities of the Ground-Based Air Defense Command (DGLC) through the development and incorporation of new launcher systems.

Moreover, as reported by the Dutch Ministry of Defense in mid-June 2023, “For medium-range, the current NASAMS system with launchers, AMRAAM missiles, and radars will gradually be replaced. It will be replaced by a new modernized NASAMS system with extended range. For long-range, the Patriot weapon system is used, which has also been in the news lately because Ukraine is using it as an air defense system.”

*Photographs used for illustration purposes.

You may also like: The Netherlands will allow Ukraine unrestricted use of its transferred F-16s to attack targets in Russia


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.