The Netherlands

Presently, the Netherlands does not possess armed drones, but is in the process of acquiring four General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper drones.

The purchase of the first Reapers was planned for 2016 but was postponed due to budgetary considerations. Although the Dutch government officially announced to use the MQ-9 Reaper drones for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, political parties are divided regarding the procurement and use of armed drones. It is expected that the Reaper drone will be armed within the near future, as will be explained in more detail in the section on the articulation of clear policy.

Additional developments in the Dutch drone program include conversations held in 2015 between the government and aerospace services company Strat Aero on establishing a UAV Training Center in the Netherlands, which would be the first in Northern Europe.

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In 2015 the Dutch human rights law firm Prakken d’Oliveira took legal action against the Dutch government on behalf of two Somali nomads who became victims of a drone attack when they were hit by a US missile in January 2014. The victims claim that the Dutch government is also responsible given its intelligences services allegedly shared essential metadata that informed the drone strike. Though this case is still ongoing, it underlines the urgent need for the Dutch government to ensure that shared data is not used for unlawful targeting.

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