Netherlands on Tuesday announced its plan to procure 9 additional F-35 fighters from the United States for an estimated €1 billion ($1.1 billion).
The new acquisition is to replace the country's ageing fleet of F-16s purchased in 1979. The stealth jets will bring the total number of F-35s with the Netherlands to 46. The agreement will include supply of spare parts, training, simulators and related support.
The envisioned agreement will “lay the foundation” for a third F-35 squadron in the Dutch air force, a plan that government officials first floated in late 2018, Netherlands' defense ministry said in a statement.
The additional aircraft are expected contribute to the air force's objective of having four jets available for NATO missions while also performing homeland defense operations and accounting for training requirements and maintenance downtime.