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Netherlands to increase F-35 order and double MQ-9 fleet

10th June 2022 - 17:10 GMT | by Tim Martin in Belfast

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The RNLAF is now expected to operate a fleet of 52 F-35A fighter jets. (Photo: Netherlands Ministry of Defence)

Additional fighter jets and MALE UAVs are to be procured by the Netherlands.

The Netherlands MoD has committed to purchasing six additional Lockheed Martin F-35A fighter jets and four more General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) MQ-9 Reaper MALE UAVs, according to the country's latest Defence Paper. 

The plan means a total of 52 F-35s are to be acquired overall (enough to equip three squadrons), while the MQ-9 fleet will double in size to eight aircraft.

'The entire F-35 fleet will be expanded to include modern long-range and precision weapons, enabling strategic targets such as integrated air defence systems to be seized [countered] in an increased threat environment,' according to a translated version of the Defence Paper.

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