Good evening, FighterSweep faithful! Word out of the Middle East is that the Dutch are seldom able to employ their Vipers over Syria. Lack of SATellite COMmunications is the issue, and it’s a BIG one (so to speak). With so many targets of opportunity and so few troops on the ground, SATCOM is absolutely crucial and a lack thereof has taken the Dutch almost completely out of that fight. This begs the question, how does something this important get missed by so many people prior to deployment? The answer is out there somewhere…

Dutch F-16’s are hardly deployed in missions over Syria because they are not equipped with the appropriation communication systems, parliamentarians discovered during a visit to Jordan this weekend.

The Netherlands’ fighter jets only have a traditional, and are therefore not able to communicate via satellite. This means they are dependent on soldiers on the ground for their communication, and there are almost no soldiers on the ground in Syria. The United States therefore hardly ever deploys Dutch planes to bomb targets in Syria.

Dutch Vipers Rarely Used Over Syria

“I was very unpleasantly surprised, because we as Parliament talked about deploying F-16’s over Syria for months and had technical briefings. Nothing showed that the F-16’s do not have satellite communication, which makes their deployment very limited”, D66 parliamentarian Sjoerd Sjoerdsma said to broadcaster NOS. “This is really a downer.”

The original article can be read in its entirety at NL Times right here.
(Featured Photo by Jason Hyatt)