Dutch army develops new operational concepts for robotic systems, unmanned platforms

By Defence Industry Europe

In a groundbreaking event, over 600 military personnel, experts, and students converged last week to test new operational concepts ranging from drones to electric vehicles and autonomous robots. The exercise, named Next Generation Concept Development, was conducted in Ede, where a special camp was established for testing innovations in various scenarios.


Key experiments included using drones to create an airborne communication network, allowing soldiers to maintain secure contact during combat. Participants also explored the potential of self-driving robots and electric vehicles for resupply missions and tested alternative energy generation methods for field camps.

Not all innovations were combat-focused. Simulators replicating combat scenarios with helicopters or additional battalions were tested to enhance and simplify training exercises.



Highlighting the importance of continual innovation, Lieutenant General Jan Swillens, Commander of the Royal Netherlands Army, referenced the conflict in Ukraine as a stark reminder of the need to update operational concepts continually.

“Innovating in terms of people, methods, and materials is essential. The Dutch mindset is inherently creative and innovative, which is crucial for winning battles. Time is of the essence, and there’s a growing recognition that the entire society plays a role in our national defence,” Swillens stated.




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