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Dutch Surplus Weapons

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Release date: 1996-06

The mixed conscript/professional army in the Netherlands with its high dependence on mobilization was transformed into a professional-only army after 1996. The large amounts of equipment necessary under the old standing army and mobilization system were no longer required. To cope with a then expected higher participation in peacekeeping and peace-enforcing operations all over the world, the Dutch armed forces placed more emphasis on rapid deployment, air-mobility and light forces. This emphasis indicated that some of the equipment previously in use was replaced with systems more suited to the new requirements of air-mobile forces. A typical Dutch policy for the disposal of older, mostly outdated equipment was export whereas with the kind of weapons to be disposed of then, other solutions had to be found. This paper describes the challenges to and solutions for surplus weapons disposal at that time.