Feb 13 2013

Dutch F-35 IOT&E and the reliability of the US Government

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl om 22:16 onder Aanschaf JSF

Kesteren – In May 2008 the Dutch government signed the MOU Initial Operational Test and Evaluation F-35. Conclusion after five years: the US Government seems to be an unreliable contractpartner. The contracted cost ceiling and promised dates will be broken.

After inense debates in The Netherlands a parliamentary majority voted to participate in the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation phase of the F-35 Program, together with the US forces and the United Kingdom.

Situation 2008: promises

In the MOU, signed by Dutch secretary of state Jack de Vries on the 30th of May 2008, we can find in paragraph 5.2.4:
“ The NL MOD share of the Financial Cost Ceiling is 30M TY U.S, dollars. The NL MOD Non-financial Cost contribution includes, but is not limited to, munitions, use of two (2) JSF Air Systems, and the services of trained personnel for IOT&E efforts.”
The planning was that the IOT&E would take place from mid-2012 until mid-2014, 2 years, separated in a Block 2 and a Block 3 part.

Situation 2013: deception

This week the Dutch parliament received a surprising letter, telling the members of parliament:
- The cost ceiling will be broken, cost of IOT&E participation will be about € 54 million (US$ 73 million)
- The IOT&E will take 4 years, not 2 years
- The IOT&E planning is now from 2015 until 2018, however it may be a little later
- The two Dutch F-35s can not be used until that moment (2015)
- We have to pay “parking costs” several millions a year

We could have bought the Dutch F-35As some years later, now we bought potential “hangar queens” from the much more expensive, early LRIP3 and LRIP4 series (having saved about US$ 100 million). We invested over US$ 250 million in these two planes, that will be parked for several years, useless investment by a country with a defence budget under high pressure.

My questions as a Dutch taxpayer

My way of doing business within my own company is yes=yes and no=no; no cure, no pay.
Reading this letter, and reading the MOU-IOT&E signed in 2008, reading the Tom Burbage PowerPoints and all documents send to Dutch parliament in 2008-2010, as a Dutch taxpayer I am wondering, having the question: “What value has a signed contract with the US Government”? (May be the US ambassador in The Hague may explain it to me)

Who, who is responsible fort his? And why fails the Parliament to stop this in a country where since 2007 a minimum of 70% of the population in polls votes against the F-35?

Author: Johan Boeder

JSFNieuws130213-JB/jb

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