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Dutch Reaper UAVs to be armed with Hellfire missiles

24th May 2023 - 12:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


The Netherlands is arming its MQ-9 Reapers in response to a changing security situation. (Photo: Dutch MoD)

The Dutch MoD has announced plans to arm its General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper fleet with laser-guided bombs and Hellfire missiles.

The Netherlands currently operates four MQ-9 Reapers but has four more aircraft on order.

The Netherlands' new aircraft, due to arrive in 2026, will be ready to carry the weapons, and the existing four will be adapted to deploy them.

The GBU laser-guided bomb is already used on the F-35 fighter jet and the Hellfire missile on the Apache attack helicopter.

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However, the Hellfire missiles for the Reapers will be a newer variant.

When the Dutch started their Reaper project in 2011, the country deemed there not to be a requirement to arm the UAVs; however, the MoD said the threat picture had not changed significantly.

Arming the aircraft is estimated to cost between €100 to €250 million.

The Shephard News Team


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