Fokker Elmo, a subsidiary of engineering concern Stork, has won a major order to supply all the cables necessary for the US Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) jet.
The contract could be worth up to €2bn, says ANP news service.
According to Jan Lagasse of Fokker Elmo, the deal will create around 200 new jobs in the Netherlands and another 120 in Turkey where a new factory will be built.
Economic affairs minister Maria van der Hoeven said the agreement is the biggest JSF deal to date for a Dutch company. Almost 80 Dutch firms are involved in the JSF project says ANP.
Speaking at the signing of the deal on Friday morning, Tom Burbage, who is in charge of the JSF programme at plane maker Lockheed Martin, repeated his confidence that the project will generate around $10bn for Dutch industry.
Meanwhile, Friday’s Volkskrant reports that at least five Dutch firms involved in the JSF project are refusing to give part of their turnover to the Dutch state in line with an agreement made in 2002.
The paper says the Dutch aviation sector agreed that it would hand over around 3% of its turnover to the government in return for its help in securing orders for the US fighter jet.
The Volkskrant names four firms that it says have confirmed they are boycotting the agreement. These companies claim they did not need the government’s help to get orders.
The deal between the aviation industry and the government was made to guarantee that Dutch tax-payers did not pay extra for the development of the JSF, says the Volkskrant. The companies involved profited indirectly from the government’s €800m investment in the project, it says.
During the announcement of the Stork contract on Friday, Van der Hoeven said the companies involved have not signed the agreement to give part of the turnover to the government, reports ANP. ‘I cannot force them to contribute but I will try to convince them that it is better if they do,’ she is quoted as saying.
The Volkskrant points out that Wim Kok – who as prime minister sat the time stressed that involvement with the JSF would be good for employment in the Netherlands – is now a member of Stork’s supervisory board.
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