Dutch Doubts: The Dutch parliament voted to terminate participation in the F-35 strike fighter program in a non-binding resolution strongly condemned by Dutch defense minister Hans Hillen. "If we were to stop investing in fighter aircraft . . . it would simply mean that we would be neglecting our duties," said Hillen in a statement three days ahead of parliament's July 5 vote. One of the original industrial partners on the project, the Netherlands "reserved 4.5 billion euro for the purchase" of as many as 80 F-35s, noted Hillen. Labor party ministers plan to propose a formal bill to cancel Dutch F-35 participation ahead of an election in September to replace the current government, but F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin says it was confident that the Dutch would stick with the program, reported Bloomberg on July 10. Dutch industry has a roughly 9 billion euro industrial share in the F-35 program, according to Hillen. Lockheed Martin rolled out the first F-35A for the Netherlands this April.
Philip & Maximilian
Head of Ranch Security, Song Dog, Texas
Where has all the music gone?
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... govt..html
"MPs Back Call to Cancel New Fighter Jet, Next Cabinet Will Decide
(Source: Dutch News; published July 6, 2012)
As expected, a majority of MPs have backed calls for the Netherlands to pull out of the Joint Strike Fighter jet project, 10 years after the order was originally placed.
Left wing parties, the right-wing populist party (PVV) and the animal rights party (PvdD) backed a joint Labour (PvdA) and Socialist (SP) motion calling for Dutch investment in the JSF to be halted.
Defence minister Hans Hillen (Christian Democrat - CDA) said after the vote he was not in a position to stop Dutch investment in the JSF because of the pending election (of September 2012). Instead, it will be up to the next government to decide whether or not to proceed, he said.
When the project was first put forward in 2002, the cost was put at 4.5bn and the first plane was due to be operational in 2014. The price of the 85 aircraft has now risen to over 64m each, with an initial delivery date of 2019.
Industrial giant Stork and other Dutch firms have warned of the knock-on effect of pulling out of the project, which is expected to generate billions of euros in orders for Dutch firms. The contracts are conditional on the Netherlands buying the finished planes."