Five F-16 fighters today took off from Volkel air base on their delivery flight to Chile. The aircraft are part of a sales agreement signed between the two governments on June 8, 2009.
The first two batches of F-16s, for a total of 12 aircraft, were delivered in November 2010 and April 2011. In total, six F-16s were to be delivered today, but one could not leave on time and will follow tomorrow.
The 18 fighter planes sold to Chile are one result of the defense policy measures decided in 2007. These opted to free up additional money for defence in the form of proceeds from the sale of defense equipment. This applies in particular to artillery pieces, combat tanks and fighter planes.
The number of combat aircraft in the Netherlands with these sales decreased from 105 to 87 with 14 for training. In 2006, Chile had already purchased 18 F-16s following Dutch military cuts stemming from the 2003 Budget Letter.
It has meanwhile become clear that the 18 F-16s, which are to be retired under the latest round of defense cuts, will also be divested.