JSF could go nuclear

The Dutch government wants the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35 fighter aircraft to carry nuclear weapons.

F-35 Joint Strike Fighters

F-35 Joint Strike Fighters / Flickr

In a letter to the Lower House, defense minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans said that the JSF may indeed have nuclear weapons on board, Nos reported on Tuesday.

Last year, a majority of the House supported a motion of the SP stating that the F-35 fighter jet should not perform nuclear duties.

According to the ministers, the Netherlands is member of NATO and it can be required to perform a nuclear task.

The government does not favor unilateral decisions because that would not fit the allied commitments and “undermine the credibility and the position of the Netherlands.”

In September, the Dutch government announced that it plans to buy 37 JSF jets. The contract for the purchase of fighter jets is expected to be signed in 2015.

The JSF will replace the F-16.

Major Laurens Jan Vijge is the first Dutch pilot to make a solo flight in an F-35 at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, U.S.