Defense strengthens the army’s fighting power | News report

News item | 18-10-2022 | 18:08

Defense strengthens the army’s combat power with missile artillery and mobile air defense. Rocket artillery allows units to fight over longer distances better than they do today. With the air defense, units are better protected at close range. These funds to be acquired are for the mechanized and motorized brigades. In this way, the Ministry of Defense elaborates on the requirements that NATO places on combat brigades. In addition, 10 extra armored howitzers will come. State Secretary Christophe van der Maat writes this to the chamber today.

Enlarge image

Archive photo from 2016 of soldiers from the Mechanized Brigade. The combat power in, among other things, this brigade is being strengthened.

The Army currently has Armored Howitzer 2000 systems with a range of approximately 40 kilometers. With the new rocket artillery, it is more than 70 kilometers. This allows units to dispatch enemy air defense and fire support systems over long distances.

GPS-guided missiles can also attack an adversary’s headquarters, logistics hubs and supplies. This is done with great precision, over great distances and under all circumstances. The defense has not had missile artillery since 2004, but the war in Ukraine emphasizes its necessity.

The procurement project includes ground-based missile launch systems, including transport vehicles, weapon system-related IT, simulation systems and missiles for deployment, education and training.

Enlarge image
File photo of soldiers from 13 Light Brigade during an exercise.

File photo of soldiers from 13 Light Brigade during an exercise.

New air defense system

The defense is also replacing the short-range air defense systems. They are nearing the end of their operational life and have a range of only a few kilometers. With the new developments in air threats, it is too short. This is significantly more so with the new mobile air defense system Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD). It provides protection against threats such as enemy helicopters, aircraft, drones and cruise missiles.

A SHORAD weapon platform consists of 4 main components: a carrier vehicle, the missiles, the radar and information technology for command and control of the system. The platform can be deployed independently or in a larger context with several SHORAD systems and together with medium-range air defense systems.

The missile artillery and air defense systems are for 13 Light Brigade and 43 Mechanized Brigade. The addition of rocket artillery and air defense systems will enable the brigades to do their jobs better. This allows them to defend closer and attack from a greater distance.

Enlarge image
An armored howitzer in 2020 in Lithuania.

An armored howitzer in 2020 in Lithuania.

Additional armored howitzers

As announced in the defense memorandum, the armed forces are removing 10 armored howitzers from storage. Then they are all in use. This means that the organization has 46 pieces of this heavy artillery at its disposal. This means that in 2024 the defense organization will have four instead of three armored howitzer batteries. In order to obtain better and faster target information, the Ministry of Defense is also purchasing additional sensors. In addition, the Defense Organization is correspondingly strengthening the associated supporting logistical, medical and recovery capacity. These are Multi Mission radars and unmanned aircraft.

Credibly deterrent

With the investments, the mechanized brigade and the motorized brigade each get an artillery section with missile systems, armored howitzers and sensors (Multi Mission Radar and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and an anti-aircraft battery. The latter then consists of medium- and short-range weapon systems and Dutch multi-mission radars.

The reinforcements of both brigades are essential for a credible deterrence and for the conduct of the battle.

Leave a Comment