> our title:

Dutch to Buy Four Reaper UAVs for €250M

> original title:

Defence Chooses Reaper Unmanned Aircraft

(Source: Dutch Ministry of Defence; issued Nov. 21, 2013)

(Issued in Dutch only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)

From late 2016, Defense will be able to collect aerial information with the MQ-9 Reaper: That is what Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert wrote in a letter to the Lower House today.

The Reaper is an unmanned aircraft that is available 24 hours a day, and can be used virtually anywhere the world; only part of its crew need to be present in-theater Defense will buy the unmanned aircraft off the shelf. By the end of 2017, the system will be fully integrated in the armed forces.

Information Gathering

The Netherlands already has access to smaller unmanned systems, such as the Raven and Scan Eagle. In 2011 Defense announced that it also wanted to buy a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

Purchasing a system comprising of four 4 [MQ-9 Reaper] MALE UAVs and their ground station is part of the strategic choices that the minister has made in the interests of the Netherlands.

Defense will use the unarmed MQ-9 Reaper for gathering information in deployment areas. Commanders can use this information for operations planning and intervention. Domestically, Defence will use the unmanned systems to support civil authorities, such as disaster relief or detecting drugs cultivation.


The Reaper UAV is the only system that meets the requirements of Defense, in terms of flight endurance, flight speed and detection accuracy. In addition, the information collected can be continuously and almost immediately (in near real time) be sent to the ground.

The next few years shows that there are opportunities for collaboration with industry and knowledge institutes and international level in the fields of training, maintenance and logistics of unmanned systems.

In the international context, one such initiative was launched last Tuesday at a meeting of defense ministers of the European Defence Agency (EDA). Seven member states, including the Netherlands, signed a Letter of Intent for the exchange of information and joint investigation of the potential for cooperation in the use of unmanned systems.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The minister’s letter to Parliament adds that the Reapers will be procured through the Foreign Military Sales process, and that a budget of up to €250 million has been earmarked for the acquisition. The aircraft will be based at Leeuwarden air base.)

Defence Ministry Buys Four Large Unmanned Aircraft for Foreign Roles

(Source: Dutch News; published Nov. 21, 2013)

The Dutch defence ministry is buying four unmanned aircraft from an American company at a cost of up to €250m. The MQ-9 Reaper drones are being bought ‘off the shelf’ and must be fully operational by the end of 2017, defence minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert told parliament in a statement on Thursday.

The drones can also carry weapons but the Netherlands does not need that capacity at present, a ministry spokesman told Nos television later. ‘That is not the intention but it can change in the future,’ the broadcaster quoted the spokesman as saying.

The US uses the MQ-9 Reaper in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The Netherlands will use it in areas where Dutch troops are operating. The ground equipment and four aircraft will cost between €100m and €250m but the price is being kept secret out of commercial considerations, Nos said.

The Netherlands already has smaller drones and the defence ministry said in 2011 it planned to buy larger ones. In the Netherlands itself they have been used for some time to spot marijuana plantations.