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The Dutch Ministry of Defence four years ago failed to inform the [Lower] House of Parliament of a serious budget problem for the replacement of the F-16 fighter, according to a documentary broadcast Sunday night [Sept. 6] by the KRO Reporter television program
Defence acknowledged that in 2005, as claimed by Reporter, there was indeed a financial problem. But the ministry said this has now been solved thanks to an increase of the procurement budget to 6.1 billion euros. Defence says it plans to maintain the original number of 85 aircraft.
Hero Brinkman (PVV party) is not reassured. "We still do not know where we have been cropped. Now it is 6.1 billion euros. But it could be eight billion in two years, or maybe nine or ten billion. Nobody knows."
The price of the Joint Strike Fighter has still not been determined. Meanwhile, Swedish aircraft manufacturer Saab, the maker of the Gripen fighter, has made a concrete offer to the Dutch government for the delivery of 85 aircraft. Saab’s Bob Kemp for the first time in public confirmed the terms of the offer.
"The price for 85 in-service Gripens is between 4.7 and 4.8 billion euros, all inclusive. All the Air Force has to do is put a pilot inside and fill the fuel tank."