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Dutch to purchase 37 F-35 fighter planes despite ballooning costs, delays

Published on Sep 17, 2013 3:45 PM
 
Three F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (from rear) AF-2, AF-3 and AF-4, can be seen flying over Edwards Air Force Base in this Dec 10, 2011, handout photo provided by Lockheed Martin. The Netherlands will purchase 37 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter planes, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday, a decision that should end years of political wrangling over ballooning costs and delays. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

AMSTERDAM (REUTERS) - The Netherlands will purchase 37 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter planes, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday, a decision that should end years of political wrangling over ballooning costs and delays.

Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert was due to announce the decision in a policy paper setting out her long-term vision for the Dutch armed forces, the sources said.

Built by Lockheed Martin, the F-35 is designed to be the next-generation fighter for decades to come for United States forces and their allies. The F-35 programme, hit by technical faults, is several years behind schedule and 70 per cent above cost estimates.