The Netherlands Buys Remaining Three F-35s
(Source: Dutch Ministry of Defence; issued Oct 17, 2018)
(Issued in Dutch; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
The Netherlands buys the remaining 3 F-35 fighter aircraft. With this, the Netherlands confirms the purchase of at least 37 aircraft. That is what Secretary of State Barbara Visser announced today in a letter to the House of Representatives.

The full operational deployment of the Dutch F-35 fleet is scheduled for 2024. In order to guarantee this, the order must be confirmed at the latest this month.

Delays in the so-called full operational capability have operational and financial consequences. The Netherlands will have to fly longer with the F-16

Overview of orders and deliveries since 2013

** Ordered and delivered: 2 test aircraft delivered in 2013 (Lot 3 and 4)

** Ordered:
-- 8 aircraft to be delivered in 2019 (Lot 11) *
-- 24 aircraft to be delivered in 2020-2022 (Lots 12-14) *

** To be ordered October 2018:
-- 3 aircraft to be delivered in 2023 (lot 15) *

* the different lot numbers represent the successive production series.

Due to the lower unit price for Lot 11, the new plan exchange rates and the risk reserve of € 120.8 million, the purchase of the F-35s is now financially feasible.

Lower prices

As is well known, the F-35 Joint Program Office aims for lower prices. This happens in 3 ways. In the first place, costs decrease due to higher numbers and the increased production experience. Secondly, production costs decrease thanks to investments. Thirdly, a multi-year purchase has a positive influence on the unit price.

In the coming years, it will be clear against which dollar exchange rate the commitments still to be entered into will be concluded.

Financial coincidences or setbacks in the project (including currency fluctuations) are absorbed through the risk reserve, the foreign exchange reserve and the investment program of the Defense organization.

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