September 17, 2013 / 7:16 AM / 7 years ago

Dutch to purchase 37 F-35 fighter planes - sources

AMSTERDAM, Sept 17 (Reuters) - The Netherlands will purchase 37 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter planes, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday, a decision that should end years of political wrangling over ballooning costs and delays.

Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert was due to announce the decision later on Tuesday in a policy paper setting out her long-term vision for the Dutch armed forces, the sources said.

Built by Lockheed Martin Corp, the F-35 is designed to be the next-generation fighter for decades to come for U.S. forces and their allies. The F-35 programme, hit by technical faults, is several years behind schedule and 70 percent above cost estimates.

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