D66 comes out against JSF in campaign

The D66 will vote against the purchase of 8 new Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) to replace the F-16's in the debate about it this afternoon, NOS reports. According to D66 parliamentarian Wassila Hachchi, there are too many uncertainties surrounding the purchase.

"I understand the importance of the Air Force. The F-16 needs to be replaced. Buth we have to be convinced that this is the best aircraft for the best price" Hachchi said. "I still see too many uncertainties and that the D66 can not accept." According to the party, there are uncertainties surrounding the price, noise levels, orders for the business district and whether there are enough devices.

The fact that the D66 will be voting against the purchase will have no effect on whether or not the fighter jets will be bought. A large majority, consisting of the PvdA, VVD, CDA, SGP and ChristenUnie, are in favor of the purchase. This majority will give the go ahead for the purchase of 8 JSF's, in addition to the two test devices the Netherlands previously bought, this afternoon. The remaining 27 devices that the Netherlands wants will be ordered and paid for at a later date.

The first jets will arrive in the Netherlands in 2019. The total cost is 4.6 billion euros, and maintenance will cost a maximum of 285 million euros per year.