The Netherlands is a notable player in the multinational F-35 program, as one of only two Tier 2 program partners, and the future site of a European maintenance hub. The government is still deciding whether it will join the Joint Strike Fighter’s IOTE (Initial Operational Test & Evaluation) phase and purchase 2 aircraft. Meanwhile, what was once a slam-dunk to replace RNLAF F-16s has now become a competition of sorts involving Saab’s JAS-39NG Gripen. To this point, the Dutch have invested over EUR 850 million in the F-35’s development phases.
The financing arrangements involved are highly unusual. They have now become a subject of possible legal action, as the government insists that industry players owe it more than EUR 300 million…
On Dec 10/08, the US DSCA announced a slew of official requests from Iraq to buy military equipment. Some of these requests will represent important upgrades for Iraq’s combat structure as a whole, such as the return of offensive air power represented by its armed reconnaissance helicopter and counterinsurgency/trainer aircraft selections. Other elements underscore the transitions required as Iraq shifts from having key command and logistics functions supplied by the USA, to performing them itself.
The US military uses DHS’ DRASH (Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelters) as instant briefing facilities and command posts, and now Iraq is looking to follow suit. The shelters are combined with requests for a large buy of communications equipment. The combination would make a big difference to Iraq’s command and control capabilities, as it continues to expand its force and looks to take over full responsibility for Iraq’s internal security by 2011 under a bilateral Iraqi-American agreement.
The requested equipment could cost up to $485 million, and includes: