The Netherlands has officially selected the F-35 joint strike fighter as the replacement for its fleet of F-16s, a major international sale for the fifth-generation fighter.
“The F-35 is a well-considered choice for a high-tech, future-oriented air force,” a Dutch government official was quoted in a statement by Defense News. “From a military operational perspective, the F-35 offers the greatest number of options. It is also the most future-proof option.”
The purchase will be for 37 of the F-35A conventional-take-off-and-landing variants, which will be the most widely produced model of the jet. The U.S. Air Force intends to purchase more than 1,700 F-35As.
The Dutch have budgeted €4.5 billion (US $6 billion) for the F-35. Because operating costs for the F-35 are still undecided, the country is putting in a contingency reserve of “10 percent for the investments and the operating costs.”
The Netherlands statement indicates that the F-35 will be introduced into its military in 2019, with decommission of the F-16s completing by the mid-202s.
Nine countries are partner nations on the F-35 program, including the Netherlands. But countries that sign on as partners are not automatically guaranteed to purchase the planes, leaving supporters of the jet to sweat out competitions around the world.
Other partner nations that have yet to commit to the jet include Denmark, which hopes to select a fighter by mid-2015, and Canada, whose decision to purchase the F-35 has been frozen due to a political scandal.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Fla., was awarded on April 9 a $46,242,947 contract
An agreement in principle has been reached with Chile concerning the sale of eighteen redundant F-16 Midlife Update (MLU) fighters of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, as well as a limited support package. It is intended that the contract be signed shortly
Netherlands King Willem-Alexander announced an increase in defence spending Wednesday as a result of global conflicts including the downing the MH17 flight over Ukraine. The Dutch government will increase its defence spending by 100 million euros ($129 million) per year from 2015, the king said at his traditional opening of parliament speech, which this year marks the 200th anniversary of the Dutch kingdom
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has delivered its first F-35 Lightning II centre fuselage to Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin at a ceremony held at TAI's facilities in Ankara, Turkey yesterday. The centre fuselage will be installed into a U S Air Force aircraft at Lockheed Martins facilities in Fort Worth, Texas
Lockheed Martin won two contracts estimated at $7.8 billion for 71 more F-35 fighter jets, after significant cost reductions
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