|The Netherlands' will have to make do with far less F-35's than planned.|
Well, it looks like The Netherlands is going to go ahead with its F-35 purchase.
Out of the original 85 F-35As planned for the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF), only 37 will be purchased at a cost of $6 billion (with a 10% contingency budget). This after years of speculation and controversy over the program's delays, cost increases, and offsets for the Dutch aerospace industry. The Netherlands have already purchased two early production F-35As, but those jets were put into storage.
|68 Dutch F-16s are scheduled for replacement.|
These 37 F-35As will be replacing the 68 F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcons currently in service. At one point, the RNLAF had 213 F-16s in service.
|For Sale: One Dutch Joint Support Ship.|
Thanks to military spending cuts, the F-35 is not the only victim of cutbacks. The Dutch government is now considering selling off its brand new Karel Doornan Joint Logistic Support Ship. Now, there are some that suggest that The Netherlands' loss could be Canada's gain, and that Canada should opt to purchase our first Joint Support Ship rather than building our own.
The Netherlands' recent military spending choices should be seen as a harsh reality check to the rest of the world. The message is simple: You don't get to have all the toys you want.
The Canadian military's plans for 65 F-35s, Joint Support Ships, arctic patrol ships, Single Class Surface Combatants, and a multitude of other goodies seems rather optimistic, given Dutch example and the likelihood of further budget cuts on the horizon.
Oh... And for those who aren't sure about the whole Dutch/Netherlands name difference: