The Armed Forces Are Getting More and More Modern Anti-Tank Weapons
(Source: Netherlands Ministry of Defence; issued Dec. 11, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
The Dutch Army will continue to operate its Panzerfaust rocket launchers as its very short-range anti-tank weapon, but will buy new short-range systems while developing, together with Germany, a new AT weapon capable of defeating active protection systems. (NL Army photo)
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The current system is no longer suitable for use up to 600 meters, due to an outdated aiming system.

Four systems
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.

Purchase risk

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.

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Fennek Armored Vehicles Get A Major Upgrade
(Source: Netherlands Ministry of Defence; issued Dec. 10, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
Most of the Army's 344 Fennek reconnaissance vehicles will be refurbished shortly. Thanks to the so-called mid-life update, the vehicles will remain operational until at least 2034.

Of the 344 vehicles, 322 will be equipped with this upgrade. The Krauss-Maffei Wegmann company is responsible for the design and implementation of the MLU. DMO Director Vice Admiral Arie Jan de Waard and Lt. Gen. Martin Wijnen of the Army Command signed the agreement yesterday.

The Fenneks are equipped in nine different configurations and the so-called C4I (command, control, communications & intelligence) resources. The first vehicle must be ready in 2022, and the last will be delivered in 2027.

Low and quiet

The army has been using this wheeled armored vehicle since 2005. The Fennek is known for being low and quiet and is difficult to see in thermal images. The vehicles have been used in Afghanistan and Mali, among others. The vehicle is primarily designed for reconnaissance, but the Fennek also fulfills a role in command and control, fire support and air defense.

The Fenneks are being renovated in the Netherlands, among others. This is done by the companies Van Halteren Metaal and Nedinsco, who work together with the Materieellogistiek Commando Land.

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