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Netherlands signs deal for first batch of 8 F-35 Lightning II JSF fighter aircraft

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World Defense & Security News - Netherlands
 
 
Netherlands signs deal for first batch of 8 F-35 Lightning II JSF fighter aircraft
 
The Netherlands has confirmed its decision to purchase eight F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters that will arrive in the country in 2019, the Dutch Ministry of Defense announced today, March 26. The deal was signed in Washington DC last night.
     
The Netherlands has confirmed its decision to purchase eight F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters that will arrive in the country in 2019, the Dutch Ministry of Defense announced today, March 26. The deal was signed in Washington DC last night.
The two first Dutch F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters arriving at Edwards Air Force Base in California
     
It is good that after 12 years of political debate there is now clarity about the successor of the F-16", said Dutch Minister of Defense Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert . “This is the point of no return. The F-35 is the most modern fighter aircraft that can be used for various tasks. Several comparisons have shown that the device complies with the Dutch requirements. This unit is important for the entire armed forces. Men and women who are sent on mission, must have access to the best equipment. Air support is indispensable and the device’s good sensors will strongly improve the information position of troops on the ground.

Earlier this month, the Dutch parliament has approved an order for the nation’s first production batch of eight Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning IIs, to be delivered in 2019.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force is already operating two F-35As, which were acquired to enable the service to participate in US-led initial operational test and evaluation of the Joint Strike Fighter. In early February, these were moved from Eglin AFB in Florida to Edwards AFB in California.

In 2013, the Netherlands decided to replace the F-16’s with F-35 Lightning II aircraft. The country intends to buy at least 37 of the next-gen aircraft. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this deal, with questions asked about whether Defense’s plan with the JSF’s is feasible and Minister Hennis getting into trouble about price guarantees.