In 2017, the Dutch government plans to increase defence spending by 300 million Euros, as was officially announced at the opening of the Dutch parliament, on 20 September. The Ministry of Defence will have almost 8.7 billion Euros available in support of its efforts. The bulk amount of these funds will be allocated to the stockpiling of spare parts and ammunition and to the recruitment of extra personnel. In 2016, the defence budget was also increased, in that case by 220 million Euros. This amount of money was used in part to further improve the armed forces’ operational deployability. Additionally, extra funding was made available on a structural basis, for Dutch participation in peace keeping missions.   

The Dutch Aerospace and Defence (A&D) industry features high-tech production, frequent innovation and highly skilled personnel. The Dutch defence industrial base includes a few manufacturers of complete weapon systems (mainly within the maritime sector, which is able to provide a wide range of platforms) and a bigger number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), as suppliers of sub-systems and components. Many companies are niche-oriented and are active in both the civil and military domain. According to official estimates, the Dutch defence industry has an average annual turnover of approximately 2.0 billion Euros (or some 0.5% of the national GDP). It is worth noting that Dutch arms exports are rather diversified in their geographical distribution, as some 22 countries from all around the world imported defence equipment from the Netherlands, in 2015.

The Dutch A&D industry is mainly concentrated in two areas: the Maastricht Aachen Airport (MAA) and the Province of North Brabant, in the south of the Netherlands. In the Maastricht airport region, several hundreds of employees work for aerospace MRO companies, such as the former Hamilton Sundstrand, now UTC Aerospace Systems, Samco Aircraft Maintenance (specialising in base maintenance) and MAAS Aviation (specialising in aircraft painting). On the other hand, several Aerospace and Defence companies, mainly involved in the production of military vehicles, as well as the military and civil aviation sector, with an excellent reputation and international portfolio, have their industrial base in the province of Brabant.

In order to further strengthen the local defence industry’s capabilities, Dutch authorities promote a cooperative scheme, with the participation of the government, the indigenous Defence and Security Technological and Industrial Base (NL DTIB) and knowledge/academic institutions. This “Triple Helix” partnership as it is called, has as a purpose to reinforce the innovation generating capability and self-sufficiency of the local defence and security sector. In this context, “government” refers to the Ministries of Defence and Economic Affairs, the “NL DTIB” consists of small, medium-sized and large companies that are active in the defence market and “knowledge/academic institutions” are universities, semi-public institutions and knowledge institutes.
At an ‘institutional’ level, the Netherlands Industries for Defence and Security (NIDV) Foundation plays an important role in the Dutch defence industry, as it facilitates the sustainable positioning of the Dutch Defence and Security-related Industry (NL-DVI) in national and international orders (from the government and elsewhere) and in national and international supplier chains.    

The Netherlands are home to several aerospace companies, such as Fokker Technologies (part of GKN Aerospace), CAE, Aeronamic and PM-Aerotech. According to data provided by the Netherlands Aerospace Group (NAC), in 2014 the Dutch aerospace and airport industry recorded a total turnover of 3.9 billion Euros and sustained some 16,500 jobs. Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) activities, generated the majority (50%) of the industry’s turnover, followed by manufacturing (22%), logistics (13%) and airport development (15%) activities. Several Dutch companies have provided components for the latest products of the commercial aerospace industry, such as tooling and aircraft interiors for the Airbus A380, wing flaps and engine harnesses for the Airbus A350 and floor covering, as well as thermoplastic laminates, for the Boeing 787.
The Dutch A&D sector is also involved in the development and production of the F-35 fighter aircraft, as one of the original nine partner nations of the programme, and hence the BENELUX country is a key contributor to the development, production, and sustainment of the F-35 (JSF) aircraft. Currently, 27 Dutch companies have been awarded work as part of the programme, while 10 have active contracts for a total value of US$750 million. Among others, Fokker provides in-flight opening doors, flaperons, titanium engine parts and arresting gear for the F-35s, while Fokker's sister company, Fokker Elmo, has been awarded the contract for the complete JSF wiring and inter connection systems. Additionally, in 2014, Aeronamic B.V. signed a contract for the manufacturing, production, final assembly and testing of the forward Module as part of the F-35 Power & Thermal Management System, which will take place in the company’s main facility in Almelo. Other Dutch companies that have already signed contracts for the delivery of parts for the F-35 Lightning, are Thales Nederland, Aeronamic and KMWE.
It is expected that overall, the F-35 programme in the Netherlands, will generate in total more than 5 billion Euros in framework contracts, 8-10 billion in production contracts, 15-20 billion in maintenance contracts, and up to 5,000 long-term and high-quality jobs.

Further to the prominent aerospace sector, the Dutch defence industry includes a viable and well-established naval sector. Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) is one of the most renowned entities of this sector, as it manufactures a wide variety of vessels, used by the Dutch and several other navies around the world. With more than 140 years of tradition in shipbuilding, the company has delivered more than 400 military and commercial vessels, since 1875. In the military domain, the company manufactures among other vessels, Air Defence and Command Frigates, SIGMA Class Frigates and Corvettes, Fast-Attack craft, Landing Platform Docks, Landing Ships and Crafts, Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), Logistic Support Vessels and Hydrographic Survey Vessels.