Rapid Fire July 6, 2012: No Dutch F-35s?
- A parliamentary majority opposed to buying the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter has emerged in the Netherlands. Despite lobbying from the MvD, and 2 planes ordered already, the issue seems set to come to a vote. If the vote goes badly, the cost of ending the country’s Tier 2 participation in the program could hit EUR 1 billion. Then again, if reported figures regarding Saab’s JAS-39E/F Gripen offer are true, Dutch government budgets could still come out ahead. Industry may be less happy.
- Speaking of the F-35 vs. the JAS-39, a study by IHS Jane’s puts the 2 jets at opposite ends of the spectrum for operations and maintenance costs among modern western fighter jets. If these figures are correct, that’s a difference in lifetime O&M costs of about $250 million per fighter.
- In South Korea, the F-X-3 fighter competition is underway again, as all 3 competitors have re-submitted their bids. Boeing’s stealth-enhanced F-15SE Silent Eagle squares off against the BAE/EADS Eurofighter, and Lockheed Martin’s F-35A.