The Netherlands Ministry of Defence is buying an additional nine F-35 fighter aircraft. State Secretary Barbara Visser informed the House of Representatives by letter today. The total number of F-35s for the Air Force will increase to 46. By adding nine aircraft to the current order, the Netherlands Ministry of Defence organization is better able to perform constitutional tasks. In addition, with this latest purchase, the foundation is laid for a third F-35 squadron.
As one of the original nine partner nations for the F-35, and the second international partner to receive the F-35, the Netherlands continues to be a key contributor to the development, production and sustainment of the F-35 program. The Netherlands and Lockheed Martin have a long-standing partnership of working together since 1914 – with the Netherlands operating the Martin Model TA, Electra, Lodestar, P2V-5 Neptune, T-33 Shooting Star, F-104 Starfighter, P-3 Orion, C-130 Hercules, and F-16 Fighting Falcon and now, the development of the F-35.
On 19 September 2013 the MOD announced that it will buy 35 additional F-35As between 2014–2023, bringing the total to 37, the maximum number fitting the original budget for F-16 replacement. First aircraft to enter service in 2019, last in 2023.The Dutch Parliament approved an order for eight Lockheed Martin F-35As in March 2015, confirming the aircraft as the official replacement for the F-16 for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. This lot of eight F-35s will be delivered in 2019. The current program of record for the Netherlands is for up to 37 aircraft.
Dutch Industry including 25 suppliers continues to benefit from the F-35 program with contracts awarded for high technology work. As estimated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the F-35 has already generated more than $1B in contracts for Netherlands Industry, creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs for this country over the next 30-40 years. As the Netherlands moves forward with the procurement of operational aircraft, contracts and jobs resulting from the F-35 will be sustained over the 30-plus years of production for the transformational 5th generation fighter.