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Netherlands requests new long-range precision missiles for F-35s

The RNLAF F-35s will be equipped with JASSM systems to enhance their long-range strike capabilities, pending US government approval. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

The Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD) has requested to purchase the Lockheed Martin Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) system for its F-35 fleet, the authority announced on 3 April.

The procurement is intended to bolster the Netherlands' long-range strike capabilities, and if approved by the US government, would meet a requirement detailed in the 2022 Defence Memorandum for long-range weapons, the announcement said.

A Netherlands MoD spokesperson was unable to detail to Janes the number of units requested, although they did note that it would be comparable to the quantity acquired from other European countries. Deliveries are expected to begin from 2027, pending approval, they added.

The JASSM is a precision autonomous stand‐off weapon designed for long-range and well-defended targets and is available in two main variants – the JASSM Baseline and the JASSM Extended Range, which encompasses the JASSM-ER/AGM‐158B, the JASSM‐ER/AGM-158B-2, the JASSM-ER/AGM-158B-3, and the JASSM-ER/AGM-158D.

The JASSM Baseline has an estimated range of 370 km, while for the JASSM-ER it is said to be close to 1,000 km, enabled by the addition of a Williams International F107-WR-105 turbofan engine and supplementary fuel.

Compared with its predecessor, the AGM-158B, the AGM-158B-2 introduces a new wing assembly, electronic fuse, and Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, as well as an upgraded Missile Control Unit (MCU) and enhanced software. The AGM-158B-3 also incorporates these upgrades in addition to a Military-Code (M-code) receiver designed to improve the security and anti-jamming properties of military navigation using GPS.

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