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Double Dutch as Netherlands adds four more Reapers to first order

22nd August 2023 - 17:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


The first RNLAF Reaper is shown here being rolled out in 2022. (Photo: Dutch MoD)

The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) will increase its fleet of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) MQ-9A Block 5 Reapers UAS from four to eight under a deal announced on 21 August.

The Netherlands received FMS approval for the additional four aircraft in June this year under a $611 million deal. According Shephard Defence Insight delivery is expected to be in 2025 and 2026.

The new contract includes three mobile ground control stations, up to eight AN/DAS-4 multi-spectral targeting systems, Selex Seaspray synthetic aperture radars (SAR), SeaVue maritime radars, M299 Hellfire Longbow missile launchers, AN/ARC-210 radios, LoS ground data terminals and up to 20 General Atomics Lynx AN/APY-8 SAR.

The Dutch received approval for the first buy in 2015 and signed a $339 million contract for four Reapers in 2018. The first was delivered in 2022 but it has been on trials in the Caribbean since then and was only handed over earlier this month.

Dutch Reaper UAVs to be armed with Hellfire missiles

Netherlands receives first MQ-9A Reaper UAS

The first deal included four mobile ground control stations Block 30 (option Block 50), six Honeywell TPE331-10T turboprop engines, six AN/DAS-1 multi-spectral targeting systems, four General Atomics Lynx (exportable) synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indicator systems, with maritime wide area search capability.

Lt Col Jan Ruedisueli, commander of the RNLAF’s 306 squadron that operates the new MQ-9A Reapers said: ‘We are doubling the number of MQ-9A Reapers so we can increase our maritime and overland ISR capacity.’

‘The MQ-9As will receive external pods for electronic intelligence, a communications relay, a maritime radar, and also be armed in the future.’

Separately, earlier this month GA-ASI successfully landed its short take-off and landing Mojave demonstrator UAS, derived from Reaper and MQ-1C Gray Eagle, on a dirt runway.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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