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The Netherlands budgets more than 4 billion dollars in military aid for Ukraine

PARIS – The Netherlands will provide Ukraine with €4 billion (US$4.25 billion) in military aid from 2024 to 2026, the Dutch government said in a spring budget update on April 15.

Defense leaders will also structurally increase defense spending by 500 million euros per year from 2028 to invest in air defense and ammunition supplies.

“Air defense and ammunition are critical, as we are now seeing in Ukraine and the Middle East,” Defense Minister said Kajsa Ollongren said in a statement. “That is why the government has made extra money available for these top NATO priorities. This also sends a clear signal to the industry.”

The Dutch government will give priority to strengthening air defense on the ground, the Ministry of Defense said. The Dutch military has said that the Netherlands cannot spare more Patriot air systems to Ukraine because the country is at the minimum level needed to defend its ports.

Ollongren said that the outcome of the war in Ukraine is decisive for the freedom of Europe, and that the controversial country can continue to count on the Dutch. She said that the Netherlands must also invest more in safety out of ‘expensive necessity’.

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With extra money, the ministry can ‘implement additional and necessary reinforcements’, make further commitments and provide clarity to the industry, according to State Secretary for Defense Christophe van der Maat. “Given the current situation, there is great urgency to further replenish our ammunition stocks more quickly,” said Van der Maat.

The ministry said it would purchase more AMRAAM missiles, while a press release also showed an image of Kongsberg’s NASAMS system.

The country has already increased its 2024 defense budget to €21.4 billion ($23.2 billion), or 1.95% of GDP, from €15.4 billion in 2023 and €12.9 billion in 2022. Dutch generals say spending must be increased above 2% of GDP to undo the damage caused by decades of defense budget cuts.

Other capabilities requiring priority investments include tanks, intelligence, drone and counter-drone technology, as well as medical and logistics support, the Defense Ministry said.

“Strengthening air defenses and additional ammunition are a crucial step that cannot wait,” said Ollongren. “Plans for even more investments are ready for the new cabinet.”

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After the November elections, talks are underway to form a new Dutch government, with Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s cabinet serving in an interim role.

The Netherlands says it provided 2.81 billion euros in military aid to Ukraine at the end of February, including equipment from its own stock with a book value of 1.2 billion euros, and 1.12 billion euros in commercial purchases of military equipment for Kiev.

Separately, Thales said the Netherlands agreed to buy seven of its Ground Master 200 mobile radar systems, with an option for two more. That follows the purchase of nine GM200 systems in 2019. The company did not specify a value for the contract.

The Netherlands has also budgeted €731 million for the purchase and integration of the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile Block 2 on two of its existing air defense frigates, as well as two future anti-submarine frigates, Van der Maat wrote in an April 15 letter to parliament. The Block 2 missiles will be able to defend themselves against maneuverable supersonic anti-ship missiles, something the ESSM Block 1 missiles are less capable of, according to the official.

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