Germany and the Netherlands are to form a join armoured unit. Source: Bundeswehr
The Royal Netherlands Army's 43 Mechanized Brigade will be integrated into the Bundeswehr's 1st Panzer Division, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and her Dutch counterpart, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, told their respective parliaments on 15 September.
A formal agreement to this effect will be signed later this year, with integration work starting at the end of the year or beginning of 2016, and the unit becoming operational at the end of 2019.
Before it is integrated into the 1st Panzer Division, 43 Mechanized Brigade will be reinforced by German 414 Panzer Battalion, which will include a Dutch Leopard 2A6 tank company with 100 personnel based in Bergen-Hohne, Germany. The remainder of 43 Mechanized Brigade will stay in the Netherlands.
To ensure commonality, Germany will upgrade the Netherlands' 16 remaining Leopard 2A6 tanks to A7 standard and pool them with its own Leopard 2 tanks. The Netherlands will lease the tanks necessary to form a company of 18 Leopard 2s.
The Dutch army's 11 Airmobile Brigade is already integrated into the German Division Schnelle Kräfte rapid deployment force.
Hennis-Plasschaert described the planned integrated division as, "another groundbreaking step in Dutch-German co-operation ... which will greatly improve European operational capabilities."
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Dutch mechanized brigade to be integrated into German panzer division - IHS Jane's 360