The US State Department has approved the sale of four MQ-9A Block 5 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and related equipment to the Netherlands.
The estimated $611-million sale includes “up to three UAV MQ-9 Mobile Ground Control Systems, up to 30 Embedded GPS/Inertial Navigation Systems devices, up to eight AN/DAS-4 Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems, and up to 20 Lynx AN/APY-8 Synthetic Aperture radars,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency stated.
The General Atomics drones will support the Netherlands’ intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance missions.
Netherlands to Modify Unarmed Reapers
“The Netherlands already has MQ-9A aircraft in its inventory and will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces,” the agency added.
Meanwhile, the country will modify its existing MQ-9s into armed drones due to evolving security concerns.
The NATO country plans to arm its four MQ-9s with laser-guided GBU bombs and air-to-surface Hellfire missiles for up to $268 million.
The first armed drone is expected to be deployed by 2025.