The purchase of the Joint Strike Fighter jets may be more than half a billion euros more expensive than expected. According to the new estimates, the project will cost over 5.2 billion euros, 550 million euros more than the previous estimate. Higher sales tax adds another 75 million euros.Wow.
Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert wrote this in the budget for her ministry for next year, the Telegraaf reports. The cause of the price increase is the “substantially higher” dollar exchange rate.
The Minister wrote that the budget will not yet be adapted for the new estimate. “This would require abrupt, drastic measures, while it is uncertain whether it will ultimately be needed”, Hennis wrote. “Also because the devises in several tranches over a period of years. Both changes in the dollar exchange rate and in the price (in dollars) will affect the estimates in the coming years.”
The Netherlands wants to buy a total of 37 JSF’s to replace the F-16’s. The government reached what Hennis calls “the point of no return” earlier this year when the contract was signed for the purchase of the first eight jets. The first jet will be delivered in 2019. The new jets should be fully implemented in 2024.
Now it all becomes clear. Now we know why the USAF and the Program Office is so desperate to increase production. The Netherlands has already reduced the number of aircraft its programed to buy and when you add this to the mix you can expect the extremely frugal Dutch to bail...or at least further reduce their buy.
As a matter of fact the best thing that the USAF could hope for is that they delay purchases and wait to see if the price drops. But that might be a false hope.
This is strictly my opinion but the President is looking past today and focusing on his legacy. He is seeking savings. All the low hanging fruit in the Pentagon has been picked. That leaves the F-35. Since the President wants to brag about how he saved the country from economic crisis...and since so many Americans feel like the country is still in recession, his only hope is to try and push the meme that he righted the budget. He won't touch social programs so the Pentagon will pick up the bill.
Will Republicans save the DoD? In my opinion not likely. The Defense Hawks are on their back feet. They no longer have sway over the party. Who has the power in the party? Budget Hawks and the Tea Party(almost the same thing).
As Don has pointed out, we still haven't seen LRIP-9 for the F-35. We're still waiting on LRIP-10 for this year. Meanwhile the Program office is talking about LRIP-11.
I'm surprised I didn't clue into this sooner.
The F-35 is already in its death spiral.