American aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin has told the Financieele Dagblad it is fully confident the Netherlands will buy 85 of the controversial JSF fighter jets, despite doubts in the Dutch parliament.
‘We have an agreement with the Netherlands to deliver 85 aircraft,’ director Stephen O’Bryan told the paper. ‘Our information is that this will go ahead.’
There are growing doubts in the Netherlands about the wisdom of investing at least €4bn in the project and in so many planes. The project has also been plagued by delays, technical problems and soaring budgets.
‘That is all part of the process, in this phase as well,’ director Kristy Mayfield said during an interview in Fort Worth, where the planes are being made.
The Netherlands has ordered two test aircraft. The first, costing €159m, is currently undergoing trials.
The Dutch cabinet will decide later this year whether or not to go ahead with the order. Last week the independent Clingendael Institute said the JSF will be of limited use to the Dutch armed forces.
Not only is the project so expensive that other aspects of the military’s work could be hit, but it will only be useful if the Netherlands gets directly involved in military conflicts, the Clingendael report said.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.