The Netherlands and Germany want to cooperate in the replacement of Electronic Support Measures capabilities (ESM). Today, Secretary of State Barbara Visser signed a declaration of intent with her German counterpart Benedikt Zimmer in The Hague. With ESM equipment it is possible to look up, gauge and intercept signals such as enemy radio signals. The equipment that the Royal Netherlands Army now uses dates back to the 1990s.
The cooperation with the strategic partner Germany offers potential economies of scale and makes knowledge-sharing possible in the area of ESM. Joint procurement also strengthens the possibilities for future operational cooperation. The Netherlands is in charge of the project. The new systems are expected from 2022.
In the army, 102 Electronic Warfare Company (102 EW Coy) is equipped with EW equipment. The unit provides the operational commanders with relevant information from the electromagnetic spectrum. The current ESM equipment can only be used in a limited way due to aging, and spare parts are becoming scarce. Moreover, the assignment has been changed by changing use of the electromagnetic spectrum and the relationship with cyber.
Through the project, the ESM capacities of 102 EPC will become more coherent. In addition, the ESM equipment becomes more interoperable with other systems in the joint intelligence network and within the cyber domain.
Replacement of Electronic Counter Measures capacities (ECM, interference capacities) is provided for in another project. Here too, cooperation with Germany is possible.
In order to formalize cooperation with Germany, an MoU will be drawn up next year.