Written by Francesco Adriani
The U.S Department of State has approved a possible military sale to the Government of the Netherlands of ninety-six PATRIOT MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical (GEM-T) Ballistic Missiles and related equipment for an envisioned cost of $1.219 billion. The sale proposal scheme includes, in addition to the missiles, training and test equipment, spare and repair parts, technical assistance, logistic service and support equipment. The Department of State’s decision came after an intense week of dialogue with Netherlands, as the Dutch Defence Minister visited the Pentagon on 13 June, and with other allies, Washington hosted the Fourth Ukraine Defence Contact Group on 20 June.
The PATRIOT MIM-104E missiles are produced by Lockheed Martin in Florida and Raytheon in Massachusetts, with the latter being the designated contractor for the eventual sale to the Dutch Government. They are a long-range air defence system to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft, with a 70km range and a maximum altitude exceeding 24km. They are equipped with an advanced guidance system which allows it to strike acquired targets with extreme precision, thanks to the possibility of implementing trajectory adjustments during the final phases of flight.
According to the U.S Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), this proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of NATO and the Netherlands’ capability to meet current and future threats. The proposed sale is expected to increase the defensive capabilities of the Netherlands’ military and support its goal of improving national and territorial defence and interoperability with U.S and NATO forces. Under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), military sales proposals must be notified by the DSCA to the Senate and shall obtain congressional clearance before the administration could execute the sale. Although the Senate has never blocked a sale proposal, it has managed to change the composition of the sale. Therefore, the final deal might be subject to modifications.
Defence Security Cooperation Agency (2022, July 21). The Netherlands –PATRIOT MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical (GEM-T) Ballistic Missiles. Press & Media.
Gould, J. (2022, July 22). Patriot missile sales to Netherlands cleared by US State Department. Defence News.
Kerr, P.K. (2022, June 10). Arms Sales: Congressional Review Process. Congressional Research Service.
Patriot Missile Long-Range Air-Defence System (2022, March 14). Armytechnology.com