The political process of deciding on the replacement of the F-16 began in the 1990s. All the key decisions and documents involved in this process are shown on our timeline.

In 1996, the then Dutch government signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which it announced its intention of taking part in the first stage of the international JSF programme. In 1999, the State Secretary for Defence told the House of Representatives (i.e. the lower house of the Dutch parliament) that the government was thinking about the replacement of the F-16. Since then, two important sets of rules governing the purchase of new fighter aircraft have come into force:

The Ministry of Defence has published a ‘Materiel Projects Summary’ every year since 2007. This document lists all the equipment projects currently in progress at the Ministry of Defence, including the replacement of the F-16.

Miletones in the JSF decision-making process

Since 1996, successive Dutch government have taken decisions on the replacement of the F-16. These include cabinet resolutions on the country’s participation in the international Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme. This decisions are referred to here as ‘milestones’. They do not always coincide with the Defence Materiel Process and the Regulations on Major Projects.

Stakeholders involved in the replacement of the F-16

A number of stakeholders are involved in the F-16 Replacement/F-35 Procurement project:

The Netherlands Court of Audit is nog involved in the decision-making proces. We inform the House of Representatives of our audit findings on the replacement of the F-16.