Financial underpinning of lowered ambitions for the armed forces not complete and of limited durability but the best possible approximation at present

Court of Audit validates policy document on the armed forces

The Minister of Defence has produced the best possible approximation using the information currently available of the financial underpinning in her policy document on the future of the armed forces. The ambitions for the Dutch armed forces and the ability to realise them, however, are not yet in balance. The Court of Audit draws these conclusions in its report, Validation of the policy document, 'In the Interests of the Netherlands', published on 19 September 2013. The Minister of Defence has lowered the ambitions for the armed forces and the policy document provides a better insight into the Ministry's financial position in the next 15 years. The Court of Audit cannot share her confidence, however, that the policy document adopted by the government will lead to 'financially and operationally sustainable armed forces'. Furthermore, the calculation of the deployability of 37 JSF fighter aircraft to replace the current F-16s is not entirely complete. It is therefore uncertain whether four aircraft will be permanently available for international missions (the other fighter aircraft are necessary to protect Dutch and allied airspace and to train pilots or will be undergoing maintenance). The saving expected from cooperation with the Belgian air force is uncertain and it is still open to question whether the JSF will be spared the chronic maintenance problems that dog the air force.