The Dutch air force is facing delays to deliveries of tactical and long-range transport aircraft ordered in 2006 for use in supporting troops deployed on international peace-keeping missions.

The Dutch parliament has been handed a report detailing problems with the modification of a former United Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-10, which will push back its handover to mid-2008.

The aircraft is having an upgraded cockpit installed, which has been hit by delays, and is being modified to carry palletised seats to allow quick-changing between passenger and cargo roles.

Additional safety requirements for the palletised seating have pushed up the overall project cost to €45.3 million ($66.3 million), the parliament was told.

The extra DC-10 is being acquired to enable air force's existing pair of KDC-10s to be used for additional air-to-air refuelling duties.

Marshall Aerospace, meanwhile, is upgrading a pair of ex-naval  for the air force, but some parts have proved difficult to source on the open market. The aircraft are not now expected to be delivered until early 2009.

An extra €6.5 million has been budgeted for installation of AN/AAR-54 missile warning systems and additional modifications to comply with latest military airworthiness standards. The planned cockpit modification of the air force's two existing C-130s cannot now take place until the third Hercules is operational by mid-2009.