The purchase of the Joint Strike Fighter jets may be more than half a billion euros more expensive than expected. According to the new estimates, the project will cost over 5.2 billion euros, 550 million euros more than the previous estimate. Higher sales tax adds another 75 million euros.
Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert wrote this in the budget for her ministry for next year, the Telegraaf reports. The cause of the price increase is the “substantially higher” dollar exchange rate.
The Minister wrote that the budget will not yet be adapted for the new estimate. “This would require abrupt, drastic measures, while it is uncertain whether it will ultimately be needed,” Hennis wrote. “Also because the devises in several tranches over a period of years. Both changes in the dollar exchange rate and in the price (in dollars) will affect the estimates in the coming years.”
The Netherlands wants to buy a total of 37 JSF’s to replace the F-16’s. The government reached what Hennis calls “the point of no return” earlier this year when the contract was signed for the purchase of the first eight jets. The first jet will be delivered in 2019. The new jets should be fully [delivered] in 2024.