The Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) will buy nine more F-35s, State Secretary for Defence Barbara Visser informed parliament on 8 October. This will bring the total number of Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) F-35s to 46, allowing the creation of a third Joint Strike Fighter squadron, the ministry said on its website on 8 October.
The RNLAF polices Dutch airspace and, at the same time, must be prepared to send four aircraft on longer missions, the MoD pointed out, adding that nine more aircraft would substantially reduce the burden on personnel during these missions. This will also reduce the number of flight hours each aircraft flies and allow the Netherlands to deploy more quickly during crises, according to the ministry.
The MoD said nine additional aircraft would not require more simulators, information systems, special tools, measurement and testing equipment, and spare parts as the 37 F-35s originally planned, but would necessitate the building of new or adaptation of existing infrastructure. This includes mobile infrastructure for deployments and training.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at ihsmarkit.com/janes