The first F-16s that the Netherlands have sold to Chile took off from Leeuwarden Air Base this morning on their way to their new home in Antofagasta.
In total, the South American country is buying 18 aircraft from the Netherlands.
The fighters’ first stop will be in Gran Canaria, after which they cross over into Brazil. They will then fly to their final destination in Antofagasta, where the aircraft will be transferred to the Chilean air force.
The sale of 18 fighter aircraft is one of the measures in the 'Wereldwijd dienstbaar' polcy adopted in 2007. It states that Defense has chosen to reduce expenditure by selling equipment, including artillery and main battle tanks as well as combat aircraft.
With this sale, the number of combat aircraft in the Royal Netherlands Air Force is reduced from 105 to 87 aircraft, of which 14 are earmarked for training.
Chile already purchased an initial batch of 18 Dutch air force F-16s in 2006.