The Dutch government on Tuesday announced plans to purchase 14 H225M Caracal long-range tactical transport military helicopters for Special Operations Forces (SOF).
Netherlands State Secretary for Defence Christophe van der Maat said the new helicopters will start arriving from 2028.
The purchase is one of the measures with which the Ministry of Defense is converting a squadron of the Defense Helicopter Command into a Special Operations Force (SOF). Strengthening SOF capacity for operations on land and at sea is a spearhead of the Defense Memorandum published last year.
The helicopters will have Gilze-Rijen Air Base as their home base.
As noted by the Airbus company, the 11-metric-tonne H225M has proven its reliability and durability in combat conditions and crisis areas that include Lebanon, Afghanistan, Chad, the Ivory Coast, the Central African Republic, Somalia, and Mali, while also supporting NATO-led operations in Libya. The H225M is relied upon as a force multiplier by France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Singapore and Thailand.
As with Airbus’ H145M and H125M, the H225M can be equipped with HForce, an armament system. Four different packages offer customers a choice of armament to expand the capability of the aircraft from that of ballistic weapons to the use of guided ammunition with firing through electro-optical system (EOS) or helmet mounted sight display (HMSD).