The first Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to be ordered by the Netherlands, an F-35A to be used in the Operational Test & Evaluation (OT&E) program for the type, will cost approximately $142 million, the Netherlands defense ministry said October 17.
The Dutch are planning to participate in the OT&E program with two aircraft, the preliminary order for the first of which is to be placed at the end of this year.
According to the defense ministry, Lockheed Martin will start ordering long lead items for the OT&E aircraft at the beginning of 2008, and The Hague is expected to pay 10% of the cost of the first jet, an estimated $14.2 million, at that point.
The final and legally binding contract for the first aircraft is to be signed in 2009, the ministry says.
The second OT&E aircraft is to be ordered one year later.
The OT&E aircraft are standard F-35A production aircraft equipped with test instrumentation.
-- Aviation Weeks Ares weblog
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