US to sell F - 35 Stealth fighter jets squadron
MOSCOW - Dutch government announced it would be buying nine of the jets in a €1 billion ($1.09 billion) deal with manufacturer Lockheed Martin, Defense News link reported. That’s $121.1 million per aircraft, a hefty step toward the NATO ally spending 2% of its GDP on defense, as demanded of alliance members by US President Donald Trump.
Last December, The Hague announced it would procure another 15-jet squadron for the Royal Netherlands Air Force in the coming year on top of the 37 F-35As already purchased.
“Extra investment in defense is a necessity because our surrounding safety zone has become a more unstable place. There are more threats to contend with, and threats have become more complex,” the Dutch Defense Ministry said at the time, Sputnik reported link .
However, those jets aren’t flying around in Europe: they’re at Edwards Air Force Base in California, where F-35 training takes place. Even then, only a handful have even been delivered, according to Lockheed Martin’s website link for news about the jet.
The Hague wants the F-35 to replace its aging fleet of 60 General Dynamics F-16 Falcons link, another US-made jet widely exported to its allies.