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Netherlands Joins Coalition to Provide Drones for Ukraine

The Netherlands has declared its participation in a military coalition aimed at providing Ukraine with advanced drone technology to boost its offensive capabilities in the conflict against Russia.
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Ukrainian soldiers operate a Vampire drone near the front line in the Zaporizhzhia Region of Ukraine on February 2, 2024 (Picture source: Ukrainian MoD)

This Dutch pledge complements the previously announced provision of F-16 fighter jets, as well as artillery, ammunition, and air defense systems already being supplied to Ukraine. Ollongren highlighted that this commitment might entail additional costs for the Netherlands, beyond the €2 billion already promised to Ukraine.

The United Kingdom, in cooperation with Latvia, will lead this significant international coalition to supply thousands of drones to Ukraine. This effort aims to enhance and streamline the West's provision of first-person view (FPV) drones to Ukraine, which have proven highly effective on the battlefield since Russia's full-scale invasion. These drones provide operators with situational awareness, allowing them to target enemy positions, armored vehicles, and ships with explosive ordnance.

The minister also noted that this coalition would be able to meet Ukraine's evolving demands as the battlefront progresses. "And I think that's where the strength of this coalition lies, in being able to provide what they need in the very short term," Ollongren stated.

In the background, the United Kingdom and Sweden had announced at the end of January their joining of a coalition aimed at arming Ukrainian forces with "thousands" of new drones. Prior to that, Latvian Defense Minister Andris Sprūds reported progress in forming a coalition of nearly 20 countries to arm Ukrainian forces with "thousands" of new drones. Additionally, the United Kingdom has announced a commitment of £200 million to drone manufacturing.

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