Israel signed a first-ever defense deal with the Netherlands to provide it with over $300 million worth of artillery systems, the Defense Ministry announced Thursday.
“The defense solutions developed by Israeli defense industries allow us to strengthen our ties with countries around the world as well as enhance Israel’s global position,” said Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, in remarks provided by his office.
“I commend this important agreement signed together with the Dutch Ministry of Defense, and am confident that our cooperation will continue to grow,” he added.
There have been previous Israeli arms and defense equipment sales to the Netherlands, but those were considered to be private deals by various companies and not government-to-government contracts.
Yair Kulas, director of Israel’s Defense Ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate — known as SIBAT — was on hand for the signing of the agreement in the Netherlands with his Dutch counterpart, Commander of the Royal Netherlands Army Lt. Gen. M.H. (Martin) Wijnen.
“It is an honor for me to lead the first government-to-government defense contract with the Netherlands for the PULS long-range precise rocket artillery system. This significant event symbolizes the strategic relationship between our countries and constitutes an opportunity to strengthen our partnership based on mutual values and morals,” Kulas was quoted as saying in a statement.
The Netherlands will pay $305 million (NIS 1.11 billion) for 20 PULS artillery systems, including ammunition, made by Israeli defense firm Elbit Systems. The five-year contract also includes training and support services.
The PULS system supports firing both unguided rockets and precision-guided missiles between ranges of 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) and 300 kilometers (186 miles).
“The acquisition of Elbit Systems’ PULS solution will enhance the Royal Netherlands Army’s ability to provide effective indirect fire support. It will also provide interoperability with NATO customers that have acquired these systems,” said Bezhalel Machlis, president and CEO of Elbit.