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Replacement of the F-16

Lockheed Martin X-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Production of the F-16

The Netherlands was one of the four start-up European NATO F-16 customers, along with Belgium, Denmark, and Norway. The initial Dutch order included 102 aircraft to be assembled at Fokker. This line first opened for business in April 1978, and was the second of the European F-16 final assembly lines to open (SABCA in Belgium was the first). The first Dutch-built F-16 took off on its maiden flight on May 3, 1979. Initial delivery of the F-16A/B to the Dutch Air Force took place in June 1979.

In December 1983, the Dutch Parliament approved plans to increase its purchase of F-16s from 102 to 213 aircraft. In 1989, the Netherlands ordered an attrition replacement of 10 F-16As. The last F-16 rolled off the line at Fokker’s Schiphol plant in February 1990. At this point we have 138 Fighting Falcons left, which are scheduled to be replaced in 2010.

Replacement of the F-16

The first Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon arrived in Holland in June 1979 as a replacement of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter and the Northrop NF-5 Tiger II. The F-16 of the Royal Netherlands Airforce are divided in six operational squadrons, one training squadron and one test unit. These are stationed on the three main operating bases in Volkel, Leeuwarden and Twenthe. The 138 F-16's have been updated by the 'Mid Live Update'-program which extended their life for 15 years. The F-16 is expected to be replaced in 2010.

In December 2001 requests for information were submitted for the Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter, Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Dassualt Rafale, Eurofighter and the Saab Gripen. A next option was to keep the F-16 with or without 'End Life Update'.

On Februari 8, 2002, the Dutch Cabinet has decided to participate in the development and construction of the Joint Strike Fighter. The costs of the participation is 800 milion euro. The Royal Netherlands Airforce is planning to purchase 85 aircraft, for which there is a budget of 5.5 bilion euro.

This page was updated in Februari 2002.

Lockheed-Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon

Replacement F-16 | Super Hornet | Rafale | Eurofighter | Gripen | Joint Strike Fighter | F-16

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