The Dutch and Australian armed forces are looking into ways to intensify their cooperation with regard to cyber warfare, submarines and the F-35. This was announced during the visit to Australia by the Netherlands Chief of Defence, General Peter van Uhm.
“Due, among other things, to the strategic position of Australia with regard to Asia, there are many advantages to cooperation”, said General Van Uhm, who was welcomed by the Australian Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, and the Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley. In a speech attended by NATO Secretary-General Rasmussen, Mr Smith, too, expressed his wish to further the cooperation. “We are like-minded countries with shared values.” The two countries’ armed forces have worked closely together in Afghanistan over the past years.
Fighting cyber threats will be an important area in the new, enhanced cooperation. An example could be the combined monitoring of the digital domain. Van Uhm: “The time difference, for instance, provides us the opportunity to take turns monitoring the web.” The exchange of knowledge, technology and experience in the area of cyber threats are also on the agenda, as is the F-35, with both countries involved in its test phase. Pooling of efforts will provide both countries with a stronger position in the F-35 programme, which is the possible successor to Australia’s F 18s and the Netherlands’ nearly 40-year-old F 16s.
Australia has also asked the Netherlands for support and advice with regard to the replacement of its submarines. The expertise and experience of the Netherlands with regard to submarines is world-renowned. The Netherlands has, for instance, successfully deployed submarines in the fight against piracy and the Royal Netherlands Navy trains submarine commanders from all around the world.
Naval Today Staff , June 21, 2012; Image: Defensie