The Dutch defense organization

The Dutch defense organization, or Defense for short, is formed by a number of different parts. Firstly, the Ministry of Defense and the administrative staff, collectively referred to as the Department. Then the four armed forces: the Royal Navy, the Royal Army, the Royal Air Force and the Royal Military Police. And finally the supporting organizations, the Defense Support Command and the Defense Materiel Organization (DMO). The main tasks of the Ministry of Defense consist of three components: protecting its own territory and that of allies, promoting the (inter) national legal order and stability and providing assistance in the event of disasters and crises.


In 2018, the budget for Defense is around € 9.2 billion. About € 1 billion of this is spent on equipment and € 2 million on infrastructure. This equipment can be divided into two categories: military products and civil products. Military products usually consist of a small number of large investments, such as fighter planes or frigates. There is usually one main supplier for this, who in turn hires smaller suppliers. Civil products - office furniture, service cars, clothing, cleaning and maintenance services, etc. - are purchased in larger numbers. These products, in contrast to the same types of products that are marketed on the business market, often have to meet additional requirements.


Because Defense is part of the national government, all expenses are paid with tax money. As a result, Dutch society expects a certain integrity. Conflicts of interest, favoritism, unwanted bias or even the appearance of such things can be disastrous. That is why Defense is obliged to follow the "Policy rules on integrity and exclusions in tenders in BIBOB sectors", in which BIBOB stands for Promotion of Integrity Assessments Public Administration. In short, it means that companies that qualify for a tender in the field of construction, the environment or ICT, with a minimum value as stated in the European tendering rules, are examined for their integrity. In the first instance, this takes place via a form with standard questions, but in case of doubt, Bureau BIBOB can be called in to do further investigation.

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Dutch Industry

Where possible, the Dutch industry is involved in Defense projects. This is done through annual consultations with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Netherlands Industry for Defense and Security Foundation (NIDV). This makes it possible to involve Dutch industry in a project in good time.

In order to do business with Defense, a number of conditions must be met. For example, one must have sufficient technical knowledge and experience and the capacity must be sufficient to be able to carry out an assignment. An organization must also have a demonstrably strong financial and economic position, so that the continuity of the company is guaranteed. This technical competence and economic capacity must be demonstrable. Companies that do business with Defense often have to use a quality assurance system. This can be a common system such as ISO or HACCP, but in some cases NATO's Allied Quality Assurance Publications (AQAP) is used. Finally, the Ministry of Defense is also paying increasing attention to sustainability in the form of social and environmental aspects. The way in which suppliers deal with this also plays a role in the selection.

Westerhof Machine Factory is proud to meet the high demands of Defense. We design, realize and maintain, among other things, control equipment for clients from the defense sector. This demonstrates that we meet the strictest requirements set by the market for specialized installations and equipment.

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