Netherlands wins contract to test Joint Strike Fighter engines

Dutch F-35 Joint Strike Fighter by Lockheed Martin
A Dutch F-35 Lightning II made by Lockheed Martin under the Joint Strike Fighter programmephoto: Ministerie van Defensie

The Netherlands will provide the first space outside the United States to test engines for the Joint Strike Fighter jet programme, the Dutch Defense ministry announced on Thursday. A test facility will be built in Woensdrecht, Noord-Brabant with equipment, spare parts and training provided by engine manufactuer Pratt & Whitney.

The ministry, Noord-Brabant as well as the Economic Affairs ministry will invest in a maintenance workshop and testing ground. It is expected to provide work for specialists through 2049, the Defense ministry stated.

Knowledge learned in this field is "also beneficial for the maintenance of other weapon systems," the Defense ministry noted in a press release. It is hoped that the project will increase innovation, thus creating more jobs and strengthening the Dutch economy.

The deal was signed with Pratt & Whitney in Hartford, Connecticut on the east coast of the U.S. Australia, Norway and Turkey are also expected to provide maintenance and testing of F-35 engines.