(Source: Saab’s Gripen blog; posted Feb. 3, 2013)
2013 will be an exciting year for the Dutch Air Force and for Dutch politics. The reason: there is a decision to be taken on the new fighter to replace the outdated F-16s, says a report in Een Vandaag.
In a report that looks at the various options that are on offer, Kimo Demoed of Een Vandaag says that while the U.S. F-35 was the dream candidate for the Dutch Air Force for years, the JSF project is anything but smooth: "The costs are skyrocketing, there are numerous technical problems and the performance of the aircraft is disappointing."
Een Vandaag's reports on the changed gameplan on the replacement of the F-16 in the year of the decision, quoting Dick Zandee, former political adviser MoD and NATO, now working at Clingendael, who says that the F16 replacement puts the government under serious duress: "The JSF will cost more than 100 million E, and I believe this cost will increase. Social Democrats are against the JSF and the Liberals want it. This could become a serious political crisis."
Eddy de la Motte points out that the Gripen offers force multipliers that give it the edge. "You can operate the Gripen from an ordinary 800 metre piece of straight road. Landing, taking off and do rearming in less than 10 minutes. You can change the engine in less than one hour outside with 5 guys."
According to Een Vandaag, "In 2008 Saab made the Dutch an offer for 85, based on that number it will cost 56.4 million. The price of the JSF is unclear. We now estimate it at around 100/110 million.