Dutch defence minister Ank Bijleveld has eliminated the country’s budget cap for F-35 purchases, opening the possibility of buying more F-35 jets.

A spokesman confirmed to Defense News here that the move as “just a formality” that would not require parliamentary approval, as the Dutch objective of buying 37 F-35 jets for €4.7 billion remains in place. But it means “we leave the option open to buy new planes” beyond those already envisioned in the budget, the spokesman said.

As one of the original nine partner nations for the F-35, and the second international partner to receive the F-35, the Netherlands continues to be a key contributor to the development, production and sustainment of the F-35 program.

The Netherlands and Lockheed Martin have a long-standing partnership of working together since 1914 – with the Netherlands operating the Martin Model TA, Electra, Lodestar, P2V-5 Neptune, T-33 Shooting Star, F-104 Starfighter, P-3 Orion, C-130 Hercules, and F-16 Fighting Falcon and now, the development of the F-35.

The Dutch Parliament approved an order for eight Lockheed Martin F-35As in March 2015, confirming the aircraft as the official replacement for the F-16 for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. This lot of eight F-35s will be delivered in 2019.

The current programme of record for the Netherlands is 37 aircraft.

6 COMMENTS

  1. It would be a good move for the RNAF to add some F-35s to their small force. Also the RNAF should get back in the maritime patrol business with 4-6 P-8 MPAs. Things have changed since they dropped their P-3 force of 13 aircraft.

    • The cutting of the orion MPA’s is still a controversial topic here in the Netherlands. That is because the motivation by the goverment was full of holes. The cutting of the Orion’s also meant the closing of naval air station Valkenburg.

      Motivation to cut the Orion Fleet: The Cold war is over and Russian Sub’s are no longer a threat. Therefore the Orion lost its usefullnes.

      Motivation to close NAS Valkenburg: Because of a change in mission for the Orion’s, the Orion’s no longer fly anti-sub missions from Valkenburg, but are now primairly on deployments to other parts of world, like the Dutch Carribean and Afghanistan.

      So motivation number 1 says: The aircraft are no longer needed
      Motivation number 2 says: We can close Valkenburg because the aircraft are never stationed there because the aircraft are needed somewhere else.

      See how stupid it all sounds. The could have kept the Orion’s and stationed them at other operational Mil airport, Woensdrecht Airbase for instance.

  2. Must admit that I’m getting a little annoyed about the lack of Russian trolls lately. I was expecting at least two this week mentioning Rothchild, Nazis and corrupt western governments. Now that the Dutch are considering more F35’s, I would have thought we’d have at least one telling us how bad this aircraft is.

  3. Don’t worry David I am sure TH is onduty over there in the basement of the Kremlin. Putin’s henchmen will be writing a response to this article any minute about the end of NATO, the Dutch wasting their money. Country in deficit…etc…etc…
    Back in the real world the Dutch definitely etly need the F35 for their airforce. To have a major European economy with minimal fast jet fighting power is absurd.

    • Very well designed conformal fuel tanks, hope to see these on Typhoon rather than the bulging ones that have been designed for it currently.

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