The Dutch government is to cut 12,000 military and defence civilian jobs, as it looks to balance its budget by 2015 with extensive spending cuts.
Among the cuts include plans to sell 19 Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 fighters, leaving 68 in service, and 17 AS352U2 Cougar helicopters, with a third DC-10 being converted to a passenger/freighter configuration also to be sold off, once its conversion is completes.
However, the government is to go-ahead with the €100m purchase of a second F-35 JSF, in a bid to protect Dutch involvement in the next generation fighter’s development and production. The Netherlands is currently a Tier 2 partner in the JSF program.
Plans to acquire four medium-altitude, long-endurance UAVs have also been announced.