On June 1 we got our first look at the F-35A Lightning II during a Royal Netherlands Air Force press briefing. The aircraft recently made it’s premiere visit to The Netherlands and the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean from east to west. An Italian built aircraft had made the first altlantic crossing earlier flying from Cameri, Italy to Naval Air Station Patuxent River in the United States.
Two servicemen of the Royal Netherlands Air Force perished today in a Apache helicopter crash in Mali. This was just confirmed by the Chief of the Defence Forces General Tom Middendorp. Preliminary reports state that a mechanical failure was cause for the crash.
The Netherlands participates in a UN-mission working on peace and stability in Mali and protecting the local populace against islamic rebels. The Dutch detachment is based in Gao.
Update 20:22: General Middendorp says that the crash occured during an exercise about 50km north of Gao.
Update 21:10: According to MoD press release it was a live-fire exercise. A French attack helicopter was first at the scene after which Dutch Special Forces secured the area on the ground.
Update 21:12: Exact cause of the crash has not yet officially been confirmed. Investigation underway.
Update 21:57: Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert on Twitter: “They worked for a free world and for that they paid the highest price. Great respect. Our thoughts go out to their loved ones.”
Three recently retired Royal Netherlands Air Force Agusta Bell 412 SP helicopters will be getting a new lease on life with the Peruvian Navy. The aircraft had recently been operated by the 303rd Search and Rescue squadron based Leeuwarden airbase in the North of the Netherlands.
In an announcement on their Facebook page yesterday the Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 display team cancelled their 2015 airshow season. Citing operational demands the much-loved team won’t be flying their single ship display until at least 2016.
Last Saturday on January 24, an article by our Lieuwe de Vries was published on the popular long-form defense newssite War is Boring. Read an excerpt below:
“Dutch attack helicopters operating in Mali flew into action for the first time on Jan. 20. The result was a lopsided victory for the Dutch, who are taking part in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country.
The battle occurred as separatist rebels from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad—or MNLA for short—advanced on the northern town of Tabankort. The rebels used heavy weapons to fire on U.N. peacekeepers in the town.
The U.N. troops called in an Apache attack helicopter to provide fire support.”
The Netherlands is joining the international coalition battling Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. But the 10 F-16 fighter jets the Dutch want to send represent much—perhaps too much—of The Netherlands’ deployable military might.
Lange tijd was de F-117 Night Hawk het toestel dat Amerikaanse luchtaanvallen leidde. Als een van de eerste praktische toestellen die “onzichtbaar” was voor radar vloog het als eerste vijandelijk luchtruim in. Het was het eerste zogenaamde “Stealth” toestel dat bekend werd bij het grote publiek en als zodanig ook een van de eerste dat buiten dienst werd gesteld.
Germany is politically considered a big player in current European events. But when it comes to putting it’s armed forces to use it lacks a serious punch. The reason: the Bundeswehr has serious and wide spread problems in keep its forces in working order.
Last week, the Italian lower house approved a motion to cut the acquisition budget for the F-35 in half. Rome decided to buy 131 jets in 2002 but lowered this amount in 2012 to 90. Now, it looks like the Italians are going to fly about 45 F-35s and effectively buying a third of the original amount and degrading from a “flagship partner” to “best of the rest” with an order that barely exceeds that of countries like the Netherlands.
De Italiaanse tweede kamer heeft gisteren een motie goedgekeurd om het budget voor de aanschaf van Italiaanse JSF’s te halveren. In 2002 besloot Rome om 131 toestellen aan te schaffen, het aantal in werd 2012 terug gebracht naar 90. Zoals het er nu uitziet komt het aantal op 45 te liggen. Italië houdt hier mee nog een derde van zijn originele order over en degradeert van een “flagship partner” naar “best of the rest” met een order die maar net het aantal van landen als Nederland ontstijgt.