Netherlands to Spend Up to $274 Million on Seabed Surveillance

The Netherlands will allocate up to 250 million euros ($274 million) to protect cables and pipelines resting on its coastal seabed.

The Dutch Ministry of Defense revealed that intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance equipment will be attached to existing oil rigs and windmills as well as new installation points to deter potential perpetrators of sabotage and espionage in the region.

The system will be composed of cameras, radar systems, and trackers.

Additionally, the country is also planning to buy two vessels capable of taking on underwater monitoring missions and serving as anti-air missile carriers.

The announcement comes months after the sabotage of the underwater Nord Stream pipeline, which compromised one of Western Europe’s natural gas networks.

Improving Security Measures

The ministry said that the country’s surveillance capabilities will be supplemented with commercial satellite equipment until they establish their own capabilities in 2027.

These commercial satellites will track ship movements, including vessels that can turn off their automatic identification system transponders.

The military is also set to monitor areas adjacent to the country.

The Netherlands’ Alliances

The Netherlands has been supporting multinational programs that seek to bolster security in the region as a response to ongoing conflicts.

Earlier this year, the country joined NATO’s Critical Undersea Infrastructure Coordination Cell, a center for the protection of Europe’s critical undersea infrastructure.

Similarly, it has been a part of the Joint Expeditionary Force since 2014, a UK-led military coalition pushing for the joint development of forces and capabilities required by NATO.

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