The Netherlands is to assume distribution and storage of all spare parts for the 400 F-35 fighter jets due to be stationed in Europe, the Telegraaf said on Thursday.
The storage, management and distribution of the spare parts will take place at the Dutch air force base in Woensdrecht, the paper said.
Ministers say the deal will result in extra orders for some 70 Dutch companies, including transport firms, IT companies and aircraft manufacturer Fokker. The paper puts the total value of the warehousing deal at €1bn.
‘This is good for the Dutch defence industry,’ Ron Nulkes, director of the sector lobby group NIDV told the paper. ‘It is also shows the trust that the Americans have in the Netherlands by giving them such a crucial role in maintaining a major weapons system as the F-35.’
After years of wrangling, in 2014 the government agreed the Netherlands will buy 37 JSFs to replace the current fleet of ageing F-16s. The cost of the 37 planes was put then at €4.6bn, while operating costs will run at ‘a maximum’ €285m a year.