Procurement: The Dutch Solution


January 25, 2024: The Netherlands is preparing to deal with the increasingly obvious threat from Russia by spending a l0t more on defense. Defense expenditures for 2023 were $16.7 billion compared to $14 billion for 2022. Some expenditures are for joint defense agreements with other European nations. For example, $717 million is being spent on Patriot air defense systems that is part of a larger, European regional air defense system. This will make many targets in Europe difficult for an aggressor to hit.

The Dutch are also upgrading their more conventional weapons, like artillery, armored vehicles, and electronic warfare. Supplies of munitions are being increased, in order to deal with a longer conflict. The Netherlands, like most other European nations, are also seeking to expand local production of munitions. Old facilities are being reopened, refurbished, and prepared for low rate and high rate production.

Modern versions of basic weapons, like anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles carried by the infantry, are replacing older models. Orders are also being placed for long-lead time items, like warships. These are needed to replace much older vessels that are less effective against current naval weapons and ships. This includes four new anti-submarine frigates to complement and eventually replace current multipurpose frigates. The navy currently has four 6,000-ton destroyers and two 3,200-ton frigates, but one frigate is inactive because the navy lacks enough men to operate it. There are also three submarines, four OPVs (offshore patrol vessels) and several support vessels.




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