Nationaal Militair Museum

The Nationaal Militair Museum (National Military Museum) in The Netherlands is a modern museum that focuses on the Dutch Armed Forces in the past, present and future. This museum is situated on the former Soesterberg Air Base and combines collections of the former Military Aviation Museum in Soesterberg and the Army Museum in Delft. The former American airbase was converted to a natural park of almost 400 ha with plenty of hiking and biking trails. The most visible building at the former airbase is the Nationaal Militair Museum which has a collection of approximately 400,000 objects, ranging from swords to modern weapon systems. In addition to a large collection of military vehicles, several fighter jets, trainer jets, warbirds, helicopters and transport aircraft of the Royal Netherlands Air Force and Royal Netherlands Navy are also part of the large collection of this museum. The Nationaal Militair Museum opened its doors in December 2014 and is part of the Stichting Koninklijke Defensie Musea.

As soon as you enter the main hall of this museum, you immediately notice how beautifully and well thought out all the vehicles and aircraft were arranged. The two most notable aircraft in the main hall of this museum are a F-16 Fighting Falcon and a McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle of the USAF that was hung up from the ceiling. The F-15 Eagle was once part of the 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron of the USAF that was stationed at the Soesterberg Air Base between 1954 and 1994. Other fighter jets you can see here that were once used by the Royal Netherlands Air Force are the Republic F-84F Thunderstreak, the Hawker Hunter F.4, the Lockheed F-104G Starfighter and the Northrop NF-5A Freedom Fighter. The Nationaal Militair Museum also pays attention to the Netherlands Naval Aviation Service, which is the naval aviation branch of the Royal Netherlands Navy between 1917 and 2008. For example, the Hawker Sea Furry Mk.50, Hawker Sea Hawk FGA.6 and Dornier Do-24T-3 are part of the wonderful collection of this museum. Fans of helicopters will also find what they want here, as this museum owns a Sikorsky S-58 and a Westland Lynx of the Royal Netherlands Navy and an Aérospatiale Alouette III SAR helicopter.

Outside the main hall of the Nationaal Militair Museum there is also plenty to admire for aviation enthusiasts. The Fokker F.27-300M Troopship transport aircraft of the Royal Netherlands Air Force and the Lockheed SP-2H Neptune and Brequet Atlantic of the Royal Netherlands Navy were placed under a roof outside the main hall. In addition, some iconic fighter jets of the past from the USAF were placed outside such as the McDonnell Douglas F-4E, the Convair F-102A Delta Dagger and the North American F-86F Sabre. The Nationaal Militair Museum at Soesterberg provides a great overview of the military history of The Netherlands in a great modern outfit. All the items are very well exposed and thanks to child-friendly activities this museum is also the perfect location for a day out with the family. It is highly recommended for anybody who loves military aviation and military history.

Jets on display: 

  • Cessna T-37 Tweet (USAF)

  • Convair F-102A Delta Dagger (USAF)

  • Fokker S.14 Machtrainer (Royal Netherlands Air Force)

  • General Dynamics F-16A (Royal Netherlands Air Force)

  • Gloster Meteor Mk.4 (Royal Netherlands Air Force)

  • Hawker Hunter F.Mk.4 (Royal Netherlands Air Force)

  • Hawker Sea Hawk FGA.50 (Royal Netherlands Navy)

  • Lockheed F-104G Starfighter (Royal Netherlands Air Force)

  • McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II (USAF)

  • McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle (USAF)

  • Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 (Soviet Union)

  • Northrop NF-5B (Royal Netherlands Air Force)

  • North American F-86 Sabre (USAF)

  • Republic F-84F Thunderstreak (Royal Netherlands Air Force)

  • Republic RF-84F Thunderflash (Royal Netherlands Air Force)

Helicopters on display: 

  • Aérospatiale Alouette II (Royal Netherlands Air Force)

  • Aérospatiale Alouette III (Royal Netherlands Air Force)

  • Hiller OH-23 Raven (Royal Netherlands Air Force)

  • MBB Bo 105 (Royal Netherlands Air Force)

  • Sikorsky S-58 (Royal Netherlands Navy)

  • Westland Lynx (Royal Netherlands Navy)

Other aircraft on display: 

  • Breguet Br.1150 Atlantique (Royal netherlands Navy)

  • Dornier Do 24 (Royal Netherlands Navy)

  • Douglas C-47 Dakota 

  • Fokker F27-300M Troopship

  • Grumman S-2 Tracker

  • Hawker Sea Fury F.B.51 (Royal Netherlands Navy)

  • Koolhoven F.K.51 (Royal Netherlands Air Force)

  • Lockheed 12A (Royal Netherlands Air Force)

  • Lockheed Neptune SP 2H (Royal Netherlands Navy)

  • North American B-25J Mitchell (Royal Netherlands Air Force)

  • North American P-51 Mustang (Royal Netherlands Air Force)

  • Supermarine Spitfire (Royal Netherlands Air Force)


Text & photos: Kris Christiaens 

Location: Soest, The Netherlands

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© 2016-2021 - Kris Christiaens - All rights reserved

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