Dutch firms Fokker and VDL in race for big Dutch military order

Dutch companies Fokker Technologies of Papendrecht and VDL of Eindhoven are among five firms in the race to replace 1,434 mobile offices, workshops and shelters for the Dutch defence ministry.

The order, worth between €250m and €500m, will also create a large number of jobs, the Telegraaf reported on Tuesday. The other bidders for the contract are from Britain, Finland and Slovakia and a decision is expected to be made soon.

The key figure in the process of awarding the contract is the defence ministry’s DMO organisation which is now studying the tenders.

‘We are finally in the position of being able to provide a purely Dutch product,’ a VDL spokesman said. ‘It will also give a big boost to both VDL and corporate Netherlands in that it will provide a lot of jobs.’

There is reportedly some friction between the defence and economic affairs ministry over the order, the paper said.

Dutch involvement

The economic affairs ministry is insisting on an ‘industrial participation clause’ – an obligation for foreign firms winning a military order to work with Dutch suppliers. For example, Fokker is handling the maintenance for the controversial JSF fighter jet project.

But the defence ministry has lessened the importance of having a Dutch element in the contract.  As a result, there is a large chance that the Dutch economy will benefit very little in the event a non-Dutch contractor wins the order, the Telegraaf said.

The European Commission last week said the ‘Dutch element’ demand is an ‘unjustified compensation requirement’ for non-national suppliers, the paper said.

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