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A battalion of Leopard 2A8 aircraft for the Netherlands

A battalion of Leopard 2A8 aircraft for the Netherlands

The Dutch Ministry of Defense sent the lower house of parliament in Amsterdam a message informing about the imminent launch of a new program related to the purchase of Leopard 2A8 tanks.

In fact, Dutch Defense indicates the need to create a tank battalion from scratch which would be NATO standard with 44 vehicles with 8 more models dedicated to school and logistical reserve needs.

Therefore, the specific requirement is 52 newly produced tanks which, as expected, will be Leopard 2A8.

To this end, the Ministry of Defense in Amsterdam points to the opportunity to join the initiative launched by Germany for the framework agreement stipulated between the Bundeswehr and the KMV (KNDS) with Rheinmetall for the production of 126 Leopard 2A8, which could also be increased depending on new entries into the programme, eighteen of which have been completed. Already contracted by German Defense, about seventy of them will be built to meet the needs of the Czech Army.

The battalion, complete with command, combat support and logistics elements, will have a membership complement of approximately 350 men; In addition to the new tanks, new Iveco 12k Manticore 4×4 and Fennek 4×4 tanks for reconnaissance elements and Boxer 8×8 will be distributed in the command center version.

German-Dutch Partnership

The Netherlands and Germany have a long-standing military and industrial partnership; Together the two nations formed the 1st German-Dutch Corps and the 11th Air Brigade was integrated into the German rapid reaction division, Division Schnellkraft (DSK).

Currently, the Dutch Army has one tank company in service, made up of 16 Leopard 2A6 tanks (with two other logistics/school reserve examples) which make up the 4th Company (reinforced by being made up of four platoons rather than three) of the 414th Tank Battalion. In the 43rd Mechanized Brigade part of the German 1st Armored Division.

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The two armies are closely interconnected and operate a series of equipment and vehicles common to both, such as the Fennek 4×4 advanced reconnaissance vehicle, the Boxer 8×8 armored personnel carrier and combat support vehicle, the Fuchs for electronic warfare and NBC missions, and the PzH-2000. The self-propelled artillery vehicle, the Patriot anti-aircraft and missile system and the new Caracal 4×4 high-mobility light vehicle have entered the production phase and will be distributed to the 11th Air Brigade and German units of the Rapid Reaction Division.

Photo by @Krauss Maffei Wegmann (KNDS)