Netherlands - Country Commercial Guide
Defense Technology

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-10-10


The Dutch government has committed to incrementally increase defense spending by €1.5 billion between 2019-2023, with a one-time increase of €1.2 billion in 2019 and an annual increase of €162 million in the following years. Opportunities are outlined in a national plan laid out by the Ministry of Defense, which lists the top five Dutch defense priorities:

  • Procurement of additional F-35s
  • Reinforcement of land capabilities through investment in direct and indirect firing power,
  • Strengthening of maritime capabilities through investment in ballistic missile defense capabilities
  • Additional enablers for their Special Operations Forces (on ground and in air, including an additional rotary wing),
  • Expansion of capabilities in the cyber and information domain.   

Leading Sub-Sectors

The Netherlands has numerous existing contracts with U.S. companies in defense technology. As a result of the increased defense budget, there are additional opportunities for military exports to the Air Force, Navy, Army, Special Operational Units, the Military Police, and the military Cyber Unit.


Future military opportunities are normally outlined in the Defense Program Overview (DPO). An English version of the DPO is available on request from the U.S. Commercial Service at the Embassy in the Netherlands. The 2018 Defense White Paper offers a more long-term overview of all the opportunities between 2018 and 2033. In light of the large number of programs on the horizon, companies are advised to review the list posted on the Ministry of Defense website. The Ministry of Defense is finalizing a “2035 vision” white paper it expects to publish by October 2020. This white paper will expand on what the military will need in 15 years and lay out a roadmap to achieve that vision.

Woensdrecht Air Base is mainly used by the Royal Netherlands Air Force as a training and logistical base. It is also well known as the Dutch Air Force’s logistics center and became the spare parts warehouse for all F-35s in Europe as of November 2019.  Woensdrecht Air Base also has one civilian user, Fokker Services, which provides maintenance, primarily but not exclusively for Fokker aircraft. As a result of the presence of Fokker Services, many Fokker aircraft are usually present at the airfield. The Royal Netherlands Air Force mainly operates the Pilatus PC-7 for initial training from this base.


Market Analyses: Global Aerospace Resource Guide

Dutch Defense White Paper 2018


Trade Events:      NIDV Symposium  | Rotterdam Ahoy

                            Defense and security industry symposium and exhibition.


Associations:       The Netherlands Defense Manufacturers Association (NIDV)

The Netherlands Aerospace Group (NAG)


SME Resources:          Posted on the website of the Global Aerospace and Defense Team


Contact:              Natasha Keylard, Senior Commercial Specialist                     

U.S. Commercial Service – The Netherlands | +31 70 310 2279