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NETHERLANDS, NORWAY AND ITALY JOIN F-35 JSF

17 Jun 02. Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Edward C. “Pete” Aldridge Jr. and the Netherlands Secretary of State for Defense Henk A.L. van Hoof exchanged signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) documents
committing the Netherlands to participation in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) system development and demonstration (SDD) phase.

Van Hoof signed the MOU documents on June 5, 2002, on behalf of the Dutch Cabinet at Soesterberg Airbase (NL). Aldridge countersigned the MOU documents in Washington, D.C. on June 10, 2002. The Netherlands will invest $800m in the SDD effort. The Netherlands has been part of the JSF program since 1997.

On June 20th Aldridge and his Norwegian counterpart National Armaments Director Leif Lindback signed memorandum of understanding documents committing Norway
to participation in the Joint Strike Fighter system development and demonstration (SDD) phase.

Norway joins in a multilateral participation arrangement that will allow Norway to work with the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark and other prospective JSF partner nations over the next 10 years.

“Our partnership with Norway in this key program will not only meet our mutual national security needs in the coming years,” said Aldridge, “it will also enhance NATO interoperability, promote defense transformation, positively impact program affordability, and strengthen industry linkages. This is a great day for both our countries.”

“This is a strategic decision for both the Norwegian Ministry of Defence and Norwegian industry,” added Lindback. “This project will enhance interoperability with U.S. and allied forces, and will provide opportunities for Norwegian industry to participate in this cutting-edge aerospace project.”

For the past two and a half years the Netherlands conducted a rigorous technical and financial analysis of potential candidates to replace its F-16s. In both assessments, the JSF was ranked first. Van Hoof said that the Netherlands with JSF has focused on the program’s overall benefits

On June 24th Italy committed $1bn to help develop JSF, but stressed it remained a dedicated partner in Europe’s parallel Eurofighter combat aircraft.

At a Pentagon ceremony, Italy became the sixth European partner in the F-35 program. Adm. Giampaolo Di Paola, Italy’s National Armaments Director, told reporters his country tentatively planned to buy about 100 Joint Strike Fighters, both the naval and Air Force versions, after production begins in the next decade.

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