F-35 Lightning II for the Netherlands
As one of the original nine partner nations for the F-35, and the second international partner to receive the F-35, the Netherlands is a key contributor to the development, production, and sustainment of the F-35 program.
The alliance established between the Netherlands and Lockheed Martin supports this need, while securing future Dutch economic growth and industrial expansion. 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 design expertise, development and manufacturing proficiencies Dutch industry brings to the F-35 will ensure future economic growth and national security for the Netherlands.
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. Currenlty, there are two Dutch jets flying and four Dutch pilots who have completed training, along with several trained maintainers.
In May 2016, the F-35 landed on Dutch soil for the first time, fulfilling a promise Dutch defence minister Jeanine Hennis-Passchaert made the previous year to show the nation the new fifth-gen fighter. 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 two jets' noise levels.
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.