Dutch defence minister Hans Hillen has announced a fresh round of defence cuts for the nation's armed forces.
Key aviation steps include the retirement within weeks of 19 more F-16 fighters, 14 Cougar helicopters and the cancellation of a programme to introduce an additional DC-10 modified for passenger/freighter tasks.
But funds will be found for a second F-35 for IOT&E and for MALE UAVs. What do we reckon - sound thinking, or mixed up priorites?
Full story here, from correspondent Anno Gravemaker:
I think the dutch should consider buying new F-16s instead of the F-35. They don't seem willing to devote enough resources for their defense, so leverage their current investments in the F-16 and simply buy the newest model. Their maintenance costs will go down, they'll have all of the newest electronics like AESA radar and be able to use all of the available weapons. They will give up stealth capability but given the norm of coalition warfare that shouldn't be a problem. They just won't fight on the first days when air and ground opposition is the greatest.