MPs want more time to decide whether to purchase two Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) as test planes prior to a possible order to equip the Dutch air force with the US-made fighter jets, reports Friday’s Volkskrant.
However, during a debate on the issue on Thursday evening, the government said it will keep to the original deadline of ordering two JSFs for €250m in February, despite the postponement.
Officially the government still has to decide on which aircraft it will buy to replace the air force’s current fleet of F16 fighter jets.
The defence ministry is comparing Lockheed Martin’s JSF with the remaining competitor made by Sweden’s Saab Gripen. However, many feel the decision to go for the JSF has already been taken.
Holland is involved in the development of the JSF and it emerged yesterday that experts from Lockheed Martin visited a Dutch airbase in September to advise on changes to accommodate the US fighter jet.
If Holland chooses the JSF the total order will amount to €5.7bn.
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