Defence ministry may sell jets to raise cash

The ministry of defence is considering the sale of F-16 fighter jets and cutting spending on tanks and heavy arms in order to free up money for new personnel and improved working conditions, a spokesman confirmed late on Sunday.

The spokesman was commenting on a report in the Sunday Telegraaf. He stressed that the ministry was not making cuts overall, but considering reallocating its budget to different areas. Defence minister Eimert van Middelkoop is expected to finalise his plans this week.
The ministry has been faced with financial cutbacks for years, and the cost of the Uruzgan mission has risen to €500m. In addition, the mission has shown the army needs Chinook helicopters to the value of €370m, the Volkskrant reported on Monday.

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