Netherlands buys 96 GEM ballistic missiles for its Patriots

AMSTERDAM ($1=0.98 Euros) — The Netherlands has expressed interest in acquiring GEM-T ballistic missiles for its Patriot surface-to-air missile systems, and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency [DSCA] has notified Congress of a possible foreign sale, according to a press release issued by the DSCA. The estimated value of the order is estimated at $1.219 billion.

Netherlands buys 96 GEM ballistic missiles for its Patriots
Photo credit: Raytheon

The GEM-T is a tactical ballistic missile that is a newer version with several upgrades to the PAC-2 missile. The GEM-T is designed to counter other ballistic missiles, as it received a new optimized fuse. The main purpose of the GEM-T is to counter targets with low altitude and low RCS. To achieve this goal, the manufacturer Raytheon designed a special nose part for the rocket. The GEM-T can also counter targets with a low radar cross-section, also known as stealth. The ability to search and intercept stealth targets has been achieved with the integration of a new low-noise oscillator that increases the seeker’s sensitivity to precisely this type of target. In 2018, Raytheon upgraded the GEM-T guidance system with solid-state gallium nitride [GAN] transmitters.

In addition to the acquisition of 96 GEM ballistic missiles [PATRIOT MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical], the Netherlands will receive service, service support, documentation, personnel training, initial integration, spare parts, future repair, transportation, field office inspection, etc.

In recent months, many countries in Europe have begun to upgrade or buy both weapons systems and ammunition for them, especially against the background of the war in Ukraine, which began on February 24 of this year after Russian armed forces invaded the country. Such a purchase from the Netherlands may not have been planned, but given the current situation in Europe, it is fully expected.

Patriot destroyed missile using target designation provided by F-35
Photo by US Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Debbie Lockhart

With the new missiles, the Netherlands will increase its defense capabilities, as well as the combat capability of its air defense units. For the Netherlands, as a member and ally of NATO, this is of extreme importance, since with the new tactical ballistic missiles, the country will be able to guarantee the protection of its territorial integrity.

The contractor will be Raytheon Corporation, Tewksbury, MA. The DSCA said the buyer would normally seek compensation. Offset arrangements are currently undefined and will be determined in negotiations between the buyer and the contractors.

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