Saturday, December 10, 2022

Netherlands Wants F-35 Stealth Fighters With Long-Range Missiles Amid Russia-Ukraine War – Defense Minister

The Netherlands is planning to install long-range missiles on its newly ordered F-35 fighter jets amid security concerns in Europe,  Minister of Defense Kajsa Ollongren said on Thursday.

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“We have ordered extra F-35 jets and we are looking into long-range missiles for them, to equip them, which is also a big step for us,” Ollongren said during a conversation organized by the Atlantic Council.

The share of defense spending in the Netherlands’ budget will increase by 40% in 2024 and will be 2% of GDP, a target that was agreed to during the 2014 NATO summit in Wales, Ollongren added.

The Defense Minister also said he considers the alleged threat from Russia and its special military operation in Ukraine to be the main reason for the sharp increase in the Netherlands’ defense spending.

F-35B
A fixed-wing aircraft mechanic with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121, conducts preflight checks on a #F35B Lightning II aircraft at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan – Twitter

On June 1, Ollongren introduced a Defense White Paper dubbed “A Stronger Netherlands, A Safer Europe: Investing in a Robust NATO and EU.” The document contains the government’s plans to increase the annual defense spending by $5 billion.

The Netherlands’ new defense plan also includes the purchase of six F-35 aircraft, bringing the total number of such jets to 52, according to reports.

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