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  • Cuts in Armed Forces

    I have some very sad news! Today all the rumours about the cuts in the defence of Holland were confirmed. The results are shocking. But still it's my opinion that this are the first intelligent cuts. They really made choices and that's good! The Dutch minister of Defence said that he wanted quality above quantity! So every part that survives the cuts will be improved or modernized. Also a new balance have to be found on exploitation costs and investments.

    This will happen:

    Royal Netherlands Navy:
    -All MPA's will be sold (!!!). This is really a shock for the navy! In November it was decided to reduce the number 0f Orions from 13 to 10. Also it was decided that only 7 Orions would get a full Capability Upkeep and the other 3 only a slight modernisation. The Orions were very welcome in every operation of NATO and UN. Since the 70's the RNLN had 1 Orion permantly based in Kevlavik, Iceland. Also 3 Orions were permantly based on Curacao for anti-drugs operations. Recently the Orions were used for important missions in Kosovo (ground surveillance) and operation Enduring Freedom (MIO). Both times all coalition partners gave their compliments for their excellent performance. And now after almost 90 years it is over! I'm curious what they will do with maritime patrol missions on the Dutch Antilles and within the EEZ's of the Netherlands...

    -Another 2 frigates will be sold. This time 2 M-frigates (Karel Doorman-class). In November it was already decided to sell the last S-frigate, the HNLMS Bloys van Treslong, in 2004 and the 2 L-frigates, the Jacob van Heemskerck-class, in 2005. Now 2 M-frigates will also be sold in the same timeframe. That leaves the RNLN with 10 frigates: 4 LCF's (destroyers) and 6 M-FF's. I hope that this will mean that in 2012 2 of those M-FF's will be replaced by 4 light frigates (already politically called corvettes). Also that they will keep their promise that al remaining equipment will be modernised...

    - No operational 3rd marines battalion. But the number of marines will not be changed!

    - Naval Air Station Valkenburg will be closed

    It was announced that the LCF's will be prepared for TacTom. Nothing will be changed to the MCM-service. The CUP of the MHC remains the same, only the minesweep-drones will not come earlier then 2010. It is obvious that the submarine service has survived these cuts because their latest patrols for "Enduring Freedom". The MC will receive new BV's.

    Royal Netherlands AirForce:
    -Number of F-16's will changed from 136 to 108 with 90 available for NATO.
    -Airbase Twente (home of 1-2 squadrons F-16's) will be closed
    -Airbase Soesterberg will be closed. All helicopters there(all Chinooks and Cougars) will be moved to Airbase Gilze-Rijen (now home of the 2 Apache squadrons)
    -number of Delta-Apaches will be cut back from 30 to 24. Those remaining 24 will be modernised even further. Note: the last Delta-Apache was delivered only 2 months ago!!
    -The ex-German PAtriots that were planned to replace the iHawk-systems will not be bought! The introduction of the PAC-III will be 2 years later than planned.

    NOthing will be changed on the JSF program! A DC-10 will be bought to relieve the KDC-10's more of their transport missions so that can concentrate more at aerial refueling. The programmes on Air-Ground Surveillance systems (NATO) and MRUAV (together with France) will be continued.

    Royal Netherlands Army:
    -The number of mechanised brigades will be brought back from 3 to 2. The main part of the personell and equipment of that brigade will be divided under the 2 remaining brigades.
    -The bases in Seedorf, Germany and in Ede-Oost will be closed
    -All MLRS artillery missile systems will be sold
    -No replacements for the 120mm mortar systems
    -The number of PzH2000 houwitzers to be bought will be 39 instead of 57. Those 18 systems will be sold to Norway!
    -All, recently updated, PRTL (also knwn as Cheetah) will be sold
    - all remaining air defence materiel and personell will be placed under the Joint Tactical Air Defense Group in De Peel.

    The Soldier Modernisation Programme will get a higher priority (also for the RNLMC). Also all the armoured vehicle replacement programmes will get a higher priority. The number of Commando's will increased to 80. Also the NBC-capabilities will be increased.

    I really have mixed feelings....

    Link: http://www.mindef.nl/nieuws

  • #2
    For the record:

    This is a RIGHT WING government that cuts on the armed forces budget!

    Bloody lunatics!

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