Defense will replace and expand its short-range anti-tank capacity. Potential opponents are getting stronger through expansion and modernization. That is why the armed forces need more clout. So more and more powerful anti-tank agents are needed. State Secretary Barbara Visser informed the House of this by letter yesterday.
The ammunition supply also needs to be expanded for more sustainability. It is also necessary that support units can also protect themselves. This requires a light and easy to operate anti-tank weapon.
Short and very short range
The current system is for both short-range up to 600 meters (Short-Range Anti-Tank, SRAT) and very short range up to 300 meters (Very Short-Range Anti-Tank, VSRAT).
The current system is no longer suitable for use up to 600 meters, due to an outdated aiming system.
The new SRAT capability will comprise four systems:
-- Fighting units that do not primarily operate on foot use the current Panzerfaust as the VSRAT system. No supplement is required for this.
-- For light combat units (on foot) and support units there will be an easy to operate, light and cheaper VSRAT system.
-- Combat units are getting a new SRAT system.
-- Potential opponents are better protected thanks to active protection systems (APS). Therefore, the anti-tank capacity must be further improved over time. In the long term, a SRAT system will be needed that can cope with vehicles with modern APS. This will be acquired later.
The costs are between € 100 million and € 250 million. The purchase risk is low with the simple, lightweight VSRAT system (2) and SRAT system (3). This is because it concerns existing, proven systems.
Risk is greater for the system that must be able to cope with APS. That is why the Netherlands is conducting research first, together with Germany, which also needs this capacity.
The project will be carried out from 2021 to 2027. Defense is expected to receive the first systems in 2024.