The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of MQ-9 Reapers and associated equipment to the Netherlands.

Under the estimated $339m sale, the Netherlands has requested for four MQ-9 Block 5 reaper remotely piloted aircraft, along with four Block 30 mobile ground control stations (option Block 50), six Honeywell TPE331-10T turboprop engines, two SATCOM earth terminal sub-systems, and six AN/DAS-1 multi-spectral targeting systems (MTS)-B.

The package also includes four General Atomics Lynx (exportable) synthetic aperture radar / ground moving target indicator systems, w/maritime wide area search capability, two ruggedised aircraft maintenance test stations, 20 ARC-210 RT-1939 radio systems, and eight KY-1006 common crypto modules, as well as eight Ku-band link-airborne communications systems and four KIV-77 Mode 4/5 identification friend or foe (IFF) systems.

The US will also provide AN/APX-119 Mode 4/5 IFF transponder, 14 Honeywell H-764 adaptive configurable embedded global positioning system/inertial guidance units with selective availability anti-spoofing module, initial spares package and readiness spares package to support 3400 flight hours for a three year period, and support and test equipment, as well as and other related elements of logistical and programme support.

"The sale is expected to help the country defend its deployed troops, regional security, and to improve interoperability with the US."

The sale has been approved by the US State Department. It is expected to help the country defend its deployed troops, regional security, and to improve interoperability with the US.

Specifically, the package will improve the country’s capability to meet existing and future threats by providing improved intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance coverage that promotes increased battlefield situational awareness, anticipates enemy intent, augments combat search and rescue, and provides ground troop support.

The sale is expected to enhance the Dutch Military’s ISR capability in support of national, Nato, UN-mandated, and other coalition operations.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems will serve as prime contractor for the FMS programme.

The MQ-9 Reaper is a medium-to-high altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft system and is designed to offer a unique capability to perform strike, coordination, and reconnaissance against high-value, fleeting, and time-sensitive targets.

Image: A US Military’s MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft in flight. Photo: courtesy of Gerald L Nino.