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Netherlands Ministry of Defence to Invest €1.5 Billion to Replenish Ammunition Stocks

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Netherlands Ministry of Defence to Invest €1.5 Billion to Replenish Ammunition Stocks

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Netherlands Ministry of Defence to Invest €1.5 Billion to Replenish Ammunition Stocks
Netherlands Ministry of Defence to Invest €1.5 Billion to Replenish Ammunition Stocks

In the upcoming years, the Netherlands Ministry of Defence will spend more than €1.5 billion on ammunition, including both conventional and large-caliber rounds like rockets and precision-guided artillery shells. For instance, handgun and machine gun cartridges fall within the latter category. Additionally, ammunition was bought last year. Then, it related to an expedited order with a price tag of almost 500 million euros. The new investment is scheduled to run from 2025 until 2031. To be able to complete the first primary defense task—national and allied defense—the ammunition store must be replenished. Every new type of ammunition that will be purchased is already in use by the armed services. Purchases are made using existing (framework) contracts and the US Foreign Military Sales procedure. The NATO Supply and Procurement Agency (NSPA) is another channel through which international orders are placed.

The expansion of all ammunition supplies improves military readiness for deployment as well as security in the Netherlands and Europe. As a consequence, the defense organization may contribute more effectively and sustainably to its own and its allies’ defenses. The Ministry of Defence purchases air defense ammunition for the frigates, amphibious ships, and support ships. Additionally, it relates to artillery and mortar rounds, Patriot system missiles, and new ground-based air defense capabilities (short- and medium-range missiles). The Ministry of Defense has cannon ammo and guided missiles on hand for the Apache attack chopper. Additional air-to-air missiles and precision-guided bombs will be fitted to the F-35 fighter jet. Conventional ammunition includes anti-tank missiles for combat units of the Army and the Marine Corps. Small-caliber ammunition for rifles and machine guns is also purchased, as well as hand grenades.

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A larger deployment stock also requires more bunkers to store the ammunition in a safe and conditioned manner. The Ministry of Defence is investigating the possibility of putting munitions complexes that have previously been designated for disposal back into use. They have sufficient physical space and the necessary permits. The complexes are being brought up to standard within the defense-wide program ‘Safety of Ammunition Buildings.” Last April, the Ministry of Defence also placed ‘accelerated orders’ worth approximately half a billion euros. In addition, the Ministry of Defence is investing in new equipment projects like radar-guided missiles for Apache helicopters, rocket artillery, and deep precision strike munitions for frigates and F-35s. Although the deployment stock of ammunition is increasing considerably, the available financial resources, according to the 2022 Defense Memorandum, cannot yet be fully replenished to the NATO standard.

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