The defense is based on membership in NATO since its
inception in 1949 and (2008) amounts to 46,000 men with
32,000 men in reserve. The military service was discontinued
in 1998. The army, organized in 3 brigades, comprises 18,000
men. The Navy has 10,000 men with 4 submarines, 4 fighters,
4 frigates, a naval aircraft with 34 armed helicopters and 2
naval infantry battalions. In addition, a mine clearance
function for NATO consisting of 8 vessels intended primarily
for the English Channel. The Air Force comprises 10,000 men
with about 105 fighter aircraft (which will decrease to 87).
The equipment is of a high NATO standard.
Defense costs decreased in 1985–2006 from 3.1% to 1.5% of
GDP. The Netherlands participates in UN peacekeeping
operations with observers or smaller units in four
countries. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that NED stands for Netherlands.
Dutch defense overview
The Netherlands is a member of NATO. The first-time
service was discontinued in 1996; all personnel are
enlisted. The total personnel force of the Dutch Armed
Forces is 35,400 active personnel, a reserve of 4,500, and
5900 semi-military police forces (2018, IISS).
The army has a workforce of 18,850 active personnel.
Heavy equipment includes 18 self-propelled PzH 2000
artillery, 170 CV9035 storm armored vehicles and 200 armored
The Air Force has a personnel force of 8050 active
personnel. The equipment includes 61 F-16 fighter aircraft,
two F-35 fighter aircraft under test, two KC-10 tankers,
five transport aircraft, 13 training aircraft, and 73
helicopters of which 28 Apache type helicopters.
The naval personnel has 8500 active personnel, including
2,650 Marines. The fleet includes four submarines, four
fighters, two frigates, four patrol vessels, six
minesweepers, two dock landing vessels, 17 landings, and
eight logistics and auxiliary vessels.
In 2018, the Netherlands participated in NATO operations
in Afghanistan (Operation Resolute Support) with
160 personnel, in the Mediterranean (SNMG1) with a fighter,
and had deployed 250 personnel in Lithuania (Enhanced
The Netherlands also participated in the UN operation in
Mali (MINUSMA) with 241 personnel, and had 300 personnel and
six fighter aircraft deployed in Iraq and Jordan in
connection with Operation Inherent Resolve.