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JSF jet does not fit in revised Dutch defence strategy, says institute

Thursday 14 February 2013

An armed forces which includes the controversial JSF jet fighter is the least attractive scenario for the future of the Dutch military, according to an assessment by the Clingendael institute.

The institute, which specialises in international relations, has drawn up four options for the armed forces, only one of which includes the JSF, Nos television reports on Thursday.

The Netherlands has committed to buying two test planes and defence minister Jeanine Hennis will take a final decision on replacing the F-16s with the JSF at the end of this year.

Military intervention

Clingendael says the JSF will only be needed if the Netherlands wants to take part in the opening phase of military interventions. This would allow the Netherlands to exercise influence on the international community and deliver an ‘important contribution’ to Nato in terms of European military capacity.

But the high cost of the JSF will lead to ‘serious limitations’ to the country’s maritime operations – such as the role the Netherlands currently plays in protecting commercial shipping against pirates. The Netherlands would also have less capacity to take part in human rights and humanitarian missions, the institute says.

‘Amending the operational targets of the armed forces is unavoidable,’ the report states. At the moment there is a skewed relationship between the country’s ambitions, the budget and the structure of the armed forces, the report states.


The best option would be to see the Dutch armed forces as a ‘robust stabilisation force’. This means the Netherlands would not take part in the initial phases of an intervention, with a high level of violence, but would contribute to peace and stability operations.

In this scenario, the JSF and submarines would not be necessary, the institute says.

Clingendael gives this scenario nine stars in its report, but the option including the JSF only scores five.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

A cheaper option would, given the Luchtmachts tasking, to look to a cheaper european solution in the Eurofighter Typhoon.

By Kevin Gregory | 14 February 2013 10:41 AM

All this is assuming that the Dutch armed forces are actually fit enough to take part in any armed deployment!!

By A Tax payer | 14 February 2013 12:21 PM

I would agree with conclusion of Clingendael institute. I suspect that history will show what a huge white elephant the JSF was.

By wilber | 14 February 2013 7:16 PM

A better alternative..?

By velociraptor | 15 February 2013 12:18 AM

The decision to scrap the JSF deal is a good one. The fighter is already obsolete from the Chinese espionage of the plans from the Canadians and US. There is no reason to continue further with a state of the art jet when our rivals have the plans and will make a counter to it.

By Darrell | 16 February 2013 12:50 PM

The JSF maybe to expensive for the Dutch but when you look at currency exchange the Euro-fighter Typhoon maybe more expensive.

Their least expensive option if they want a strike fighter may be the F-15 but when / if the Russians come calling in their next generation fighter planes the Dutch will get shot out of the sky if they don't keep up.

By Lee From Florida | 17 February 2013 2:15 PM

@Darrell, if you believe the enemy has copied your latest military designs, how does it make sense to step back to your old design? That would ensure the military superiority of your enemy; moving forward will at least result in military parity.

By Ben | 18 February 2013 10:06 AM

This is a rational conclusion for the Netherlands, given the implicit protection it receives from the USA and the explicit protection it receives from NATO, but it's unfortunate for the Americans, who will continue to be expected to bear an outsized cost for defense of NATO nations. Maybe buying the JSF isn't a good idea for Holland in a vacuum, but shame on the European Union if it makes 27 decisions like this and in the end the continent as a whole lacks global military strength.

By Ben | 18 February 2013 10:08 AM

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