Dutch Navy plans to have inner layer defence systems

The Dutch Navy’s 16 Goalkeepers were recently subject to an upgrade to keep them relevant until at least 2025. (Royal Netherlands Navy)

Current trend of the world navies is to develop multi-layer defense systems and concepts to deal with the modern air and surface threats. The emergence of new supersonic, high-diving and highly manoeuvrable anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs) and new asymmetric threats has stepped up the development of new inner layer defence systems (ILDS).

In March 2018, Thales Nederland announced the successful sea acceptance trials of the first upgraded system under the GOALKEEPER Upkeep (CIWS) program. The upgrade covers a new colour TV and IR electro-optical set, latest generation control station, operational software, and processing power. These enhancements yield added accuracy, reduced reaction time, new prediction algorithms to improve fire-control effectiveness and enhanced multi-target engagement capabilities against the latest ASCM and asymmetric seaborne threats.

Despite the improvements and modifications made, the goalkeeper system is not considered to fully meet the needs of the Dutch Navy. Goalkeeper system now encountering obsolescence, the MoD’s Defence Material Organisation (DMO) in 2018 established the Vervanging (replacement) Close-in Weapon System project to identify options for a successor.

According to Janes, in a 14 January letter to the Dutch parliament’s House of Representatives, State Secretary for Defence Barbara Visser said that plans were being taken forward to acquire the Raytheon/RAM-System GmbH RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) guided weapon system and the Leonardo DART (Driven Ammunition Reduced Time of flight) 76 mm guided ammunition. The latter will be integrated with the Pharos fire-control radar developed by Thales Nederland.

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