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F-35 Lightning II for the Netherlands

Netherlands F-35 Program History

As one of the original nine partner nations for the F-35, and the second international partner to receive the F-35, the Netherlands continues to be a key contributor to the development, production and sustainment of the F-35 program.

The Netherlands and Lockheed Martin have a long-standing partnership of working together since 1914 – with the Netherlands operating the Martin Model TA, Electra, Lodestar, P2V-5 Neptune, T-33 Shooting Star, F-104 Starfighter, P-3 Orion, C-130 Hercules, and F-16 Fighting Falcon and now, the development of the F-35.

The Dutch Parliament approved an order for eight Lockheed Martin F-35As in March 2015, confirming the aircraft as the official replacement for the F-16 for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. This lot of eight F-35s will be delivered in 2019. The current program of record for the Netherlands is for up to 37 aircraft.

In May 2016, the F-35 landed on Dutch soil for the first time, showing the nation their new 5th Gen fighters. While in the Netherlands, the F-35 performed several "experience flights" to allow the Dutch public to evaluate the difference between the F-35 and legacy fighters, the F-16, noise levels. The test results showed negligible differences between the noise levels of these two aircraft.

The F-35 is highly interoperable and functions as the center for sharing information across military forces. With the ability to integrate into existing systems, the Netherlands continues to be a valued partner and contributor to global security.

Netherlands Economic Impact

The design expertise, development and manufacturing proficiencies Dutch industry brings to the F-35 will ensure future economic growth and national security for the Netherlands.

Dutch Industry including 25 suppliers continues to benefit from the F-35 program with contracts awarded for high technology work. As estimated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the F-35 has already generated more than $1B in contracts for Netherlands Industry, creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs for this country over the next 30-40 years. As the Netherlands moves forward with the procurement of operational aircraft, contracts and jobs resulting from the F-35 will be sustained over the 30-plus years of production for the transformational 5th generation fighter.

Dutch industry is currently participating in high volume production, critical technology development and strategic structural design ventures that are integral to the F-35 program. Key industrial partners include Fokker Technologies, Aeronamic, Thales, NLR, Airbus Defense and Space, and DPCC. Dutch Industry will continue building F-35 parts for over 3,000 aircraft over the next 30+ years

The Netherlands was also assigned four major European regional sustainment projects: Engine Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul, and Upgrade (MRO&U), Landing Gear Component MRO&U, PTMS MRO&U, and Regional Warehousing.