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Secretary of State van der Maat builds Reaper plane over US desert |  news item

Secretary of State van der Maat builds Reaper plane over US desert | news item

News Item | 11-10-2022 | 17:14

Reliable information. Soldiers know better than anyone how important these things are. In a war they can make a difference, for example together with (European) alliance partners. Reason enough for Defense to finally have a total of 8 MQ-9s Harvesters to make purchases. Secretary of State Christoph van der Maat is in the US to discuss equipment collaboration with government and industry. Yesterday he followed an American reaper– Flight over the desert San Diego.


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An archive photo of the first training flight in April 2022 of the first MQ-9 Reaper in the Netherlands.

to the manufacturer General Atomics (GA) Aeronautical Systems Inc. In Poway The Secretary of State, responsible for procurement of equipment, among others, was brought up to date. This includes the latest technological possibilities of unmanned surveillance aircraft.

Absorb information

Van der Mat ‘piloted’ the MQ-9 in a simulator. “It’s interesting to see and hear what reaper Everything is possible. It is a true ‘information sink’. With the sensor capabilities of these unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, high-quality information can be collected simultaneously over land and over seas at multiple locations. MQ-9 reaper A good example of interoperability: the system can be used across the armed forces for all constitutional tasks.


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State Secretary van der Maat enjoys a Reaper flight in a simulator.
State Secretary van der Maat enjoys a Reaper flight in a simulator.

Over 500 hours

The first flight took off in April 2022. Since then, it has flown more than 500 hours until August. So far this has only happened in the Caribbean. There are Harvesters Subject to the so-called testing and evaluation phase from Curacao. The drone could arrive this year at a new home base in Leverton, where 306 MQ-9s are housed. reaperTroops.

All in all, the Netherlands is starting to count again in the military world. Because with reaper Defense is a highly sought-after capability within NATO.

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manufacturing process

Van der Maat’s visit was mainly intended to ask as much as possible about the device. Remote pilot aircraft system (RPAS). He also immersed himself in technological developments that make the device even better. At the factory, van der Mat, among other things, got an impression of the manufacturing process of the parts reaper.


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Archive photo of State Secretary Christoph van der Maat.
Archive photo of State Secretary Christoph van der Maat.

Industrial cooperation

The Secretary of State also spoke at the GA about future cooperation between Dutch and American industry. “For example, there are already collaborations with TNO, Fokker and Thales. But it is also important to look at new possibilities together: Beginnings In the field of innovation. Dutch and American companies can help each other by sharing knowledge of the local market, investing together, and testing products.

GA has developed a special program for this. Blue magic. GA is apparently looking at the Netherlands for this as well. Emerging companies can partner with larger companies to develop new technologies, such as laser technology. RoboticsQuantum technology and Artificial intelligence (AI).