The Royal Netherlands Air Force MQ-9 Roll-Out Ceremony
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The U.S. State Department first approved the Netherlands for a potential MQ-9 sale in 2015, when it valued the order at about $339 million for four air vehicles, six Honeywell TPE331-10T turboprop engines, ground stations, Lynx radars, and a variety of other subsystems and spares. The deal is for the unarmed configuration of the Reaper. Later, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems was awarded a $123 million contract for four MQ-9 Reaper drones for the Netherlands, the U.S. Department of Defence said in a release. The work was expected to be completed in December 2020.
The RNLAF Reapers will be assigned to 306 Squadron based at Leeuwarden Air Base in the northern Friesland province. The squadron was established in 1953 as a photo-reconnaissance unit, and it was deactivated in 2010 but reactivated in 2018.